Deteriorating mental health affects work productivity in Asia 

Organisations that fail to address workplace mental health issues risk incurring significant cost through an increasingly disengaged workforce.
By: | September 18, 2023

Many employees across Asia are at risk of developing mental health illnesses and if left unaddressed, will cost organisations financially and adversely impact workplace productivity.

According to the inaugural Aon TELUS Health Asia Mental Health Index report, 82% of employees in Asia have a high (35%) to moderate (47%) mental health risk. Stress, anxiety, and burnout were identified as key drivers of reduced productivity, with 45% of respondents saying that their mental health is negatively impacting their work.

Compared to last year, more than 51% of employees feel more sensitive to stress this year, 33% are finding it difficult to concentrate on their work and 47% end their workday feeling mentally and/or physically exhausted.
Cost, lack of information, and the stigma attached to mental health issues are some of the barriers that are preventing mental health issues from being addressed. Over half of the respondents (54%) also believe that their career opportunities would stall should their employers find out about their mental health issues.

READ MORE: Hong Kong’s Gen Z faces mental health and financial challenges

Urging organisations to assuage these fears and implement support structures, Tim Dwyer, Chief Executive Officer, Health Solutions, Asia Pacific, Aon, said, “Supporting employees’ wellbeing is necessary for organisations to maintain high levels of engagement and productivity to deliver measurable return on investment. Organisations must therefore address these [mental health] issues head-on while developing an integrated strategy informed by data and insights.”

The Aon TELUS Health Asia Mental Health Index report surveyed 13,000 employees in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam in November 2022.