The crisis derived from the coronavirus has brought to light another issue related to health that, until very recently, did not enjoy much visibility, mental health, despite the fact that half of the population suffers from mental illness throughout their lives. life, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The effects on emotional health caused by the pandemic – and some widespread practices as a consequence, such as teleworking – have gained greater prominence in the last year in all areas and, more specifically, in business.
This is demonstrated by studies such as the one carried out by the ILO (International Labor Organization) in 2020, which indicates that 60% of employees suffer from depression or anxiety. On the other hand, half of the non-productive working days are a consequence of the harmful effects of stress on workers’ health.
Poor mental health in the workplace not only affects the health of employees, but also affects the performance of the company : loss of productivity and costs of absenteeism and presenteeism. No less important are other less tangible effects, such as a negative mood among workers and an unfavorable reputation for the company. It is important to note that the sales of a company with happy employees increase above 30%.
According to Brais Urceira, psychologist of the Loconseguremos team (Emotional & People Well-being): “The cognitive and relational well-being of workers is a priority. We have to find that balance, a healthy conciliation for people. Without them, the company does not exist.”
Mental health prevention initiatives not only help the employee, they lead to better results for companies. From the Official College of Psychology of Madrid they assure that companies cannot wait for productivity to return to pre-pandemic levels because the concern and uncertainty of workers does not go away alone with time.
New factors to take into account in the evaluation of occupational risks
Until now, the psychological review was only mandatory in some work activities (Framework Directive 89/391 / EEC), such as air traffic controllers, but in view of the situation that thousands of workers are going through, the Ministry of Labor wants to go further and repair in many more professional sectors, such as the health or service sector among others.
From the approval of the requirement of this psychological prevention plan, companies that do not take the measures may be sanctioned according to the Law on Infractions and Sanctions in the Social Order according to technical Criterion 104/2021 on actions of the Labor and Social Security Inspection in Psychosocial Risks.
For just over a year, Human Resources departments have been forced to deal with very new and complex situations, organizational strategies adapted to teleworking, more limited resources and greater physical and emotional risk of the workforce. Not only do you have to look for measures that adapt to the legal framework, but also an investment in sustainability plans to take care of the employee.
The path taken to respond to these employee needs has already begun . For the Loconseguremos online psychological support team , the objective is to improve the worker-company relationship. “In addition to oxygenating the work of Human Resources colleagues, we must focus on the health of each of the people who come to the company and provide care from a psychological approach,” explains Brais Urceira.
An evaluation carried out by a team of specialized psychologists
From Loconseguremos’s point of view, there is still an important journey ahead. The new law proposal would imply that companies carry out periodic psychological evaluations of the workforce.
“Just as the medical examinations in a company are carried out by a doctor, in Loconseguremos we maintain that the psychological examinations and evaluations should be carried out by a psychologist with specific and objective training,” they point out from the team.
The symbiosis between the company, HR and the rest of the workforce goes through psychological care that takes care of the emotional well-being of the entire business ecosystem.