Gallup poll shows poor mental health is a costly loss for companies

by ian

Ian Patrick, FISM News


Employees with poor mental health tend to take more days off which cost companies in the long run, according to a poll released by Gallup. The poll was the first time the major polling group had attempted to quantify “the economic cost of worker mental health generally as an overriding condition.”

Of the 15,809 working adults who were surveyed, 19% indicated that their mental health was either “poor” or “fair.” Gallup found that this group of people missed four times as many work days as those with at least “good” mental health.

With the old adage “time is money” in mind, the missed times comes at an extreme cost to companies and the economy as a whole. Gallup says that the general toll on the U.S. economy from this amount of missed work adds up to “$47.6 billion annually in lost productivity.”

“The cost of a missed workday is conservatively estimated to be $340 per day for full-time workers and $170 per day for part-time workers,” the report continued.

Women are more likely than men to report poor or fair mental health, at 23% and 15% respectively. Younger age groups also report having poorer mental health than older age groups, with 31% of workers under 30 reporting such a thing compared to 9% of those 65 and older.

In addition, 40% of workers report that their job has at least a somewhat negative effect on their mental health. Only 30% said it at least had a somewhat positive effect, while another 30% indicated there was no change to their mental health based solely on their jobs.

Mental health has become more of a focus of companies in recent years, as research has shown that proactive health care that focuses on a holistic approach – not just physical care – has shown benefits in productivity. Still, 57% of those polled said their company did not provide any mental health coverage or were unaware of whether or not their company provided coverage.