Mental Health and Common Workplace Issues

One in five Australian employees have taken time off from work due to feeling mentally unwell in the past 12 months. Only half of Australian employees believe their workplace is mentally healthy. Elevated levels of depression, anxiety, and stress are being reported among Australian adults following the COVID-19 pandemic and New Zealand citizens are reporting greater levels of generalized anxiety. Today’s uncertain climate makes it more critical than ever for employers to take an active role in employee mental health.

What impacts mental wellbeing in the workplace? There are a number of risk factors: job clarity, job demand, job safety, a lack of resources, a lack of recognition, or even bullying and harassment. And, of course, employees are people first; poor mental wellbeing can be carried over from external events such as health-related issues, family-related issues, and environmental problems.

For employees, it feels obvious when their employers aren’t supporting their mental health. For employers, it can be more of a challenge. Without direct information from employees, it can be easy to overlook mental health issues or address mental health issues solely in terms of poor employee performance. Employers may feel as though they are being asked to read minds or engage with employees on an in-depth level that they cannot achieve.

It’s in every employer’s best interest to proactively address mental health issues rather than reactively.

Employees spend the majority of their time at work. Better workplace mental health can directly correlate to better mental health overall, which leads to better workplace outcomes. When employees can take care of their mental health, they have better morale. They are more likely to be productive and have more respect for their management. They are less likely to leave for other opportunities, and consequently less likely to lead to expensive employee churn.

Common issues encountered today include:

Depression: Depression can lead to feelings of inadequacy and exhaustion. Employees may not perform well when depressed, may feel as though their work doesn’t matter, may miss deadlines, and may not respond well to mistakes or correction.
Anxiety: Anxiety can lead to paralysis and avoidance. Employees may start to avoid deadlines and meetings, or may not come to work at all. Anxieties may seem “touchy” or aggressive, as their anxiety may manifest as frustration.
Stress : Stress can lead to frustration and inferior work product. Employees may rush through their work because they feel overwhelmed or avoid their work until the last minute.
Burnout : Some employees who are stressed may exhibit excellent performance — until they inevitably burnout. Burnout occurs when employees continue to push past their own limits, often because they are under-staffed or over-pressured.

COVID-19 has upended many industries. Employees may be getting fewer hours, interacting with each other less, or making less money. They may be facing issues at home, have sick family members, or have family members who have been out of work themselves. They may feel socially isolated due to the previous quarantine. There’s a full breadth of issues that may be facing employees that they have never encountered before.


While Australia and New Zealand are on their way towards recovering from COVID-19, there are still economic consequences to the pandemic. Large projects have been put on hold. Companies are being cautious about expansion. Hours are being pulled back. Employers and HR managers alike are going to need to adapt to this new landscape themselves and help their employees summit these challenges. COVID-19 support services can help.

What challenges does it tackle?

Reducing onsite accidents

These cost Australian businesses $61.2B a year.

Reducing onsite accidents

These cost Australian businesses $61.2B a year.

Reducing onsite accidents

These cost Australian businesses $61.2B a year.

Reducing onsite accidents

These cost Australian businesses $61.2B a year.

How it works

Our qualified professionals coach and educate your team to recognise your body’s warning signs that signal it’s time for a physical and mental reset. Delivered onsite, your team can put theory into action within their own work environment, which increases uptake and memorability while recruiting champions from within your team helps the change become part of the culture.

We understand every workplace is unique, so we use a 4-step approach to understand exactly where we need to focus.