Study: Workplace Changes Can Negatively Impact Mental Health



For a lot of people, the workplace is where most of their waking hours is spent. Everyone has good days and bad days, but what if you’re part of a company that can’t help but provide staff with a toxic work environment? According to a study conducted by human resources consulting and technology company, Morneau Shepell, such a situation can wreak havoc on an individual’s health.

Morneau Shepell’s findings indicate that organizational changes within a company lead to more employees taking sick leave from work. In fact, the firm reports that 66% of Canadian workers surveyed said that they have experienced at least one organizational change (i.e., team restructuring, layoffs, the redesigning of office and mergers) at their current place of business.

Of those people who have experienced such a dramatic shift, 40% agreed that the moves “negatively affected their health and well-being.” What’s more, 30% of those polled claim that these workplace changes impacted their job performance.

“We have found that among the types of organizational changes, job re-design has the strongest correlation to sick leave for both physical and mental health,” said Alan Torrie, President and CEO, Morneau Shepell. “This type of change sometimes gets less focus than things like mergers, but it is clearly important to the day-to-day experience of employees.”Office Mental Health

“The reality is that organizational change is more likely to increase than decrease over time. With technology advances, new business models and global economic forces, change is the new normal,” continued Torrie. “With this, it is important for organizations to understand the impact on people and consider the best way to support their workforce through on-going change.”

In terms of mental health, Morneau Shepell explains that depression and anxiety remain prevalent in work environments. More specifically, 31% of employees surveyed said they currently have a mental health condition, while 28% said they used to have a mental health condition.

Thus, it shouldn’t be surprising when 75% of respondents “indicated work culture as the most important issue to address regarding mental health in the workplace.”

If you are struggling with mental illness in any regard, you are not alone. For assistance, please reach out to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

-Adam Grant