Line manager support is vital to workplace productivity for people with depression
According to new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), employees who work in an environment where managers feel comfortable to offer help and support with their depression are more productive and take less time off work.
Published in medical journal BMJ Open, the LSE’s research revealed that employees’ productivity levels improved by 6% when they were open about their depression at work. Researchers also found that their levels of absenteeism were reduced by as much as 11 days over 24 months.
The study examined depression in the workplace in 15 countries, including the UK, looking at the impact of manager reactions and support on absenteeism and presenteeism.
The researchers found that 53% of people in the UK reported that their manager had offered to help with their depression. Denmark had the most open managers, with only 2% of respondents saying that their manager had avoided the issue. In the UK this figure was 3%.
The LSE study cited separate research that found around 70% of people with mental illness, including depression, conceal their condition. Fear of stigma and discrimination in finding and keeping jobs contributed to this.
“As evidenced by this study, providing the right advice and support for employees with depression is vital,” said Neil Mountford, chair of UK EAPA. “More training for line managers will help with recognition of the early warning signs as well as improved signposting to support services such as EAPs, benefiting both the employee by ensuring they get the help they need and the employer, with fewer days lost to absence.”
Read more about the research study here.