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Business leaders must prioritise employee mental health right now, says Adecco CEO

Business leaders must prioritise employee mental health right now, says Adecco CEO

Alain Dehaze, CEO of the recruitment firm, Adecco, says managers must pay more attention to the mental health of their employees, as the Coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns take their toll on workforces across Europe.

Back in October, the Mirror reported that 40% of British office workers feared their mental health would suffer if they spent another six months working from home. Now, a survey commissioned by Adecco, of 8,000 office-based staff in eight countries, suggests workers’ mental health is indeed getting worse.

“We have seen in our survey that 28% of employees … say their mental health got worse during the pandemic, and that only 1 in 10 managers exceeded employees’ expectations in supporting them,” Dehaze said. “This soft skill will be extremely important to make sure that in this new world, managers and leaders are taking care of their people in the right way.”

“We need more emotionally intelligent leaders, because we see that many people are suffering,” he told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe.

But employees don’t necessarily want to rush back to the office once restrictions are lifted. According to Adecco’s survey, they want to split their working time equally between the office and home. ‘These figures of 50-50 really transcends geography, generation, parental status,’ says Dehaze. ‘So, it’s really a kind of new universal ideal.’

A structured working day at home can help employees’s mental health.
A lack of structure can take its toll on mental health, so we built the 5-a-Day HR tool to help give that structure back to people. It offers employers a simple and effective way to support the mental and physical wellbeing of staff working from home, and to spot early warning signs if things begin to deteriorate.