Three in four workers feel they have to put on a brave face in front of other employees regardless of how they actually feel, according to research.
Figures from workforce health and wellbeing solutions provider Lime Global suggested the workplace phenomenon of pleasanteeism soared by 24 percentage points in six months – from affecting 51% of employees last May to impacting 75% in November.
A third of 2,049 workers polled in the latest survey revealed that they have been unable to concentrate at work or had an unproductive day because of having to put on a brave face.
More than half (54%) have taken time off work due to a culture of pleasanteeism. Lime Global said this could add up to as many as 67 million days lost each year across the entire UK workforce.
Half of respondents have higher expectations of their employer to support their mental health than they did before the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic while two-thirds believe related benefits should be offered to the whole workforce and 45% find it unfair that healthcare and wellbeing benefits are not currently offered to every employee.
In addition, many workers said they would welcome small initiatives from their employer including mental health days off (24%), and greater flexibility in working hours (22%). Meanwhile, 23% would like their employer to be more mindful of their workload and work-life balance.
Shaun Williams, chief executive and founder of Lime Global, insisted that it is vital that businesses and HR managers act to offer each one of their employees as much support as possible as such a move will help drive down absenteeism and protect businesses’ bottom lines.
“Providing access to inclusive healthcare benefits that are designed to make a tangible impact, combined with a company culture that supports health and wellbeing, are key steps that HR managers should take to produce a happier, healthier and more productive workforce,” he said.