Indian companies still have a long way to go to combat workplace stress


  • Workplace stress and mental well-being of employees has been a key issue that is being addressed by employers.
  • Workplace anxiety causes low productivity in employees — costing the global economy nearly $1 trillion, every year.
Workplace anxiety has been causing low productivity amongst employees, and — costing the global economy nearly $1 trillion annually, according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In India, which is the most overworked country in the world, work-related stress can have serious consequences. Portrayed as a ‘ silent killer,’ stress has been reportedly termed as the root of depression and workplace anxiety in India.

The ‘Sick’ work culture

So why are Indian workers so stressed? According to a recent LinkedIn report, majority of the workforce in India is stressed due to workload, fear of job loss and office politics.

“By a sick or dysfunctional culture I mean they can’t talk about their problems. Tech distraction is just a problem like any other and what we find is the companies that struggle with technological distraction have all kinds of other skeletons in the closet, all kinds of other things that people don’t want to talk about,” said author Nir Eyal.

A few companies are now brushing up their Human Resource (HR) practices to create a work-life balance for their employees.

“Workplaces that promote mental health and support people with mental disorders are more likely to reduce absenteeism, increased productivity and economic gains,” WHO said.

Amit Sharma, Group CEO eExpedise.com believes that there needs to be a mindset change towards wellness. “Corporates need to have a dedicated department and skilled professionals to run this programme, and should be accountable for the same.”

“The approach should be to manage complete lifecycle, from assessment to intervention, implementation and monitoring,” he added.

Nearly 80% of top 200 companies in India invest their funds under CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in health or education. However, prioritising mental wellness is still a milestone, according to an ET report.

Startups and global companies including WeWork, E&Y, American Express and Accenture have put policies in place to cope with employee stress and thereby, absenteeism.

E&Y made a cultural shift by encouraging employees to communicate personal challenges and problems within the organisation. Indian startup WeWork initiated a programme called the ‘right to disconnect.’ The startup floated policies which allow employees to feel free and switch off on weekends and non-working hours — from 9 pm to 7 am.

Other global giants — Hindustan Unilever, Pidilite Industries — have been strongly opposing ‘Late working policy’, to support employees.

See also:
Indians were asked what they would do in their free time if they could work for four days a week — and their answers are unexpected

In India, employees are prioritising ‘remote work policy’ while taking up a job — and will even take a pay cut
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