Between the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and evolving job duties, more employees are experiencing mental health challenges.
In fact, a 2022 Lyra survey revealed that 84% of employees experienced at least one mental health challenge over the past year. They’re feeling anxious, burnt out, stressed and depressed. As such, organizations are expected to take more responsibility for workers’ mental health and help employees on a personal level.
In 2023, employers are poised to address burnout, explore ways to help employees struggling with mental health and foster a healthy, supportive and understanding working environment. Employers can consider the following trends that may influence workers’ mental health in 2023.
Employers should expect to see more mental health programs cropping up in the new year. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s (KFF) 2022 Employer Health Benefits Survey, large employers, in particular, note a growing need for mental health services.
Nearly half (48%) of large companies saw an increase in workers using mental health services, and 29% say that more employees requested family and medical leave in the last year because of increasing mental health issues. This year, employers are expected to take more responsibility for workers’ mental health and well-being by expanding employee assistance programs and offering mental health education and support.
Furthermore, many employers feel they don’t have enough in-network providers to offer timely mental health care access. While 82% of large organizations said they had a sufficient number of primary care providers, only 44% said the same of behavioral health providers. Separate from resources available through health plans, more than three-quarters (81%) of large employers offered employee assistance programs for mental health.
Scheduling flexibility remains a top workplace desire for employees. During the pandemic, many employees were sent home to work remotely for the first time; now, many want to retain that perk at least some of the time. According to the Lyra survey, nearly 70% of employees said work-from-home days and flexible scheduling options are “very important.” That’s because having work flexibility allows employees to better manage their personal responsibilities, creating a better work-life balance.
Workplaces have changed over the past three years, and today’s are much more connected and better suited to support a dispersed workforce. The Lyra report further noted that employees are increasingly expecting to set their own schedules, having autonomy over when and where they work. Even the formerly rare practice of a four-day workweek is likely to be adopted by more companies in 2023.
Remote access to mental health professionals can be critical for employees who may otherwise not have time to seek help. Such specialists can often be accessed through telemedicine resources, which have been gaining significant popularity recently. Many employers had embraced telemedicine, especially when COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns prevented people from seeking nonemergency health care.