Mental health: 1 in 2 employees consider themselves to be in psychological distress

Published on Nov 23, 2023 at 2:57 p.m.

Burn-out, suicide attempts, depression… The mental health of employees has continued to deteriorate since the health crisis. This is the result of the 12th barometer from the Empreinte Humaine firm with OpinionWay.

An increase of 4 points compared to February 2023, psychological distress now affects 48% of employees, including 17% at a very high level. The reason ? Some 7 out of 10 employees attribute their unhappiness at work, primarily to their general management.

Young people and seniors more affected

“All the indicators of mental health at work that we have measured since 2020 are deteriorating,” according to Christophe Nguyen, founder of Empreinte Humaine. While 2,400,000 people are at risk of severe burnout, the categories most at risk of developing a mental disorder are those under 29 and those over 60 (+32 points). “The increase in the retirement age appears to have a very significant impact,” according to the report.

As a result, sick leave is becoming more recurrent: 27% of employees used it in 2023, notably 20% to “recover psychologically from too intense work” and 17% for “demotivation”. “The question of the intensity of the workload and the quality of life and health at work is at the heart of the reasons for absenteeism,” ures the firm.


of employees note an increase in suicides (or attempts) in their company according to the report

While 4 out of 10 employees want to leave their company, those suffering from psychological distress are twice as likely as others. More dramatically, a quarter of employees have noticed an increase in suicides, or suicide attempts, in their company.

A more intense pace of work

Contrary to what one might think, it is not those far from the office who are least impacted. Psychological distress is in fact more present among teleworkers: 47% among 100% teleworkers, compared to 30% for those systematically present on the premises.

Teleworking would generate more workload, alongside saving time on transport. Overall, 1 in 2 employees say that their work pace is greater than before the health crisis.

Few employees dare to talk about it

Despite the scale of the phenomenon, only 2 out of 10 employees have already contacted an internal actor to discuss their situation, and 40% were not satisfied with the response they received (questioning of their words, negative consequences on their career, no follow-up…).

“From the point of view of employees, measures to prevent psychosocial risks are not sufficient, even though they are increasingly expected by them,” reports the barometer. An observation that goes further: half of employees would be ready to do less well-paid work, but in a company that would better take care of mental health issues at work.

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