Women are disproportionately affected by the rise in mental health problems caused by increased workloads as people do their jobs from home amid the pandemic.
The length of the workday increased steadily, resulting in a 49% increase in mental disorders reported by employees compared to 2017-2019. Women bear the brunt of problems while juggling work and childcare, according to a report by the 4 Days of the Week campaign and think tanks Compass and Independence.
The Burnout Britain report comes a day before World Mental the health Today it is shown that women are 43% more likely to increase their working hours beyond the standard work week compared to men, and for those with children, this was most significantly associated with mental health problems: 86% of women who implement the standard work week side by side With childcare, which is more than the UK average or equivalent, I ran into trouble in April of this year.
Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at the Mind Society Mental Health Charity, said she has encouraged employers to support employee well-being by offering flexible work, which could mean starting at a later date or sharing jobs.
“As we try and manage our lives around Covid-19, employers can take more measures like work from home or different hours to suit people’s lives,” Mamo said.
The report warns that “in addition to the impending recession and mass unemployment, we are heading to an unprecedented mental health crisis.”
It calls for a four-day work week for the public sector and the formation of a working time committee by the UK government to explore the best policy-making opportunities to use shorter working time to share work equally across the economy.
“It’s very worrying that the shift to remote work has resulted in workers doing more, not less, hours,” said 4 Day Week campaign activist Joe Ryle.
“This country urgently needs four working days a week to restore balance to the economy, boost mental health and give people more time to spend the things they love.”
Lisa Cameron MP, SNP spokesperson for mental health said: “This report shows us that it is very important as a society to strive for a work-life balance that makes economic sense for business and employees as well.
“The four-day work week has emerged in recent months as a potential means of flexible work across the economy, which is why the Scottish government has set up a commission to explore more possibilities in Scotland.”
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