More than a quarter (28%) of small to medium employers state that they are too busy to think about supporting mental health in the workplace, with 48% believing they could be doing more in this area, according to research by small business platform Xero.
Its survey of 500 small and medium business owners also found that 37% of respondents allow pets in the office in order to support employee wellbeing, while 35% provide support in terms of workload management and 33% give access to digital wellbeing tools and apps.
Some small and medium employers are focusing on the office environment to impact employee wellbeing and mental health. For example, 34% are adding plants to their work space and 29% are working to ensure there is enough natural light in the office.
Anne Allen, director of people experience at Xero, said: “Running a small business effectively in testing times is about doing the small things well; streamlining administration and tax compliance and using technology to simplify business management. Our study shows [small and medium businesses] do feel the pressure of changing times, but work environments with the right technical, emotional and personal support can ease the strain.”
Penny Power OBE, business wellbeing expert and director at Social Power, added: “I learned first hand that mental health is as critical as physical health. The process I went through of self-awareness was fundamental to my personal wellbeing and success.
“Business people focus on their skills and building a network, but very few understand their own vulnerabilities. We all have to deal with challenges and modern living that can be overwhelming, but learning to self-care and learning how to manage our minds can be the difference between living a happy and successful life, or not.”