Employers must make workplace mental wellbeing top priority following pandemic, warns expert
A business management expert has warned that employers’ approach to improving workplace mental health must take top priority in the wake of the pandemic. Argyro Avgoustaki, professor of management at ESCP Business School, claimed that until now workplace mental wellbeing has been an afterthought for companies. He said that this must change post-lockdown. The sudden changes to people’s working lives – whether it be working from home, or not at all – have created a spike in cases of mental ill health, Avgoustaki said. He continued: “Companies will experience negative employee outcomes such as a decrease in employee satisfaction and commitment and increase in deviant behaviour. They will also experience negative firm outcomes such as lower productivity, sales, and financial performance.” If an employee expresses feelings of stress, depression or anxiety, he added, there must be a number of mechanisms in place to address these issues. “The times when employers could rely on a one-size-fits all approach are ending, with employees progressively requiring and employers offering more customized arrangements,” Avgoustaki concluded. A greater support system is necessary not only for the individual, but for the business as a whole, he said. ESCP Business School is a multi-campus school, with locations in London, Berlin, Madrid, Paris and beyond.