The lonely road

Recent research by AXA Insurance found that those working for themselves have a better work-life balance and a more improved well-being than those working for someone else.

The research suggested that being on call 24/7 and fluctuating monthly incomes are bugbears of the self-employed life. It will be interesting to monitor how many people will leave companies to set up their own shop. Whilst it often depends on the person, if the stress is apparently lower, this may encourage the move?

With the growth of the gig economy, one has to question whether the current working model is no longer as sustainable or suited as it once was.

The important part of this research, arguably more important than the results, is that it will continue to show companies that stress and mental health matter. Whilst not everyone has quite yet worked out how best to approach this, there does seem to be a consensus that it’s important to look after the workforce – more so in the hospitality sector.

For those that don’t see any issues with mental health, the stark findings in the recent Farmer / Stevenson review are eye opening:

  • Over 300,000 people lose their jobs each year as a result of mental health issues
  • That’s 50% higher than the number for employees with physical health issues
  • This is costing the UK economy £99bn
  • Almost half of this cost is borne by employers

The Farmer / Stevenson review argues that the root cause is grounded in a lack of understanding and support.

It also argues that for those addressing the concerns, interventions have the potential to generate up to £9 for every £1 invested. In some cases, there is also improved employee engagement and increased customer satisfaction.

So if we’re concerned firstly that people may leave our businesses and secondary they may be suffering for various reasons, should we try our utmost to support them? Hiding heads in sand is no longer possible.