Last week top executives from some of the UK's largest companies put their name next to the Target Depression in the Workplace programme. Royal Mail, BT and Barclays are among those who have pledged to work in reducing the number of employees diagnosed with work-related depression.
10% of employees across Europe have taken time off work due to depression, and those who are suffering with depression report that nearly 6 work-hours a week are lost due to this illness. If depression wasn't forefront on our minds before, considering the impact on business- it should be now.
Head of FM Alex Sutherland says "we believe the acknowledgement of depression in the workplace is crucial. It is about time we shook off the stigma attached to depression and other mental health issues. With increased workloads and lack of economic stability there has been a huge rise in work related stress and depression. A programme like Target Depression is long over due and I hope that many more companies follow suit in signing up."
With increasing pressure on both men and women to get the crucial work/life balance right, and the prevalence of technology which has led to employees working from their palm at home: depression has started to become an even greater issue in the workplace.
Previously depression was seen as a hidden problem which people often felt ashamed to discuss, however with initiatives such as the Target Depression programme encouraging the onus to be on employers, we might start to see an improvement in employee mental health. In addition recently there has been an upturn in the facilities management sector. Profit forecasts in the property market have increased to 6.5%, a sign that FM professionals can enjoy a more positive economic outlook .
However FM has far more to contribute to this tricky issue than just a sunny outlook for the end of 2013, Facilities Managers are in the privileged position where they can positively influence those employees who may be suffering from stress or work-related depression. Many of our candidates have a compassionate outlook to their work, and firmly believe that their role is absolutely vital to not only the smooth running of the building, but the day to day experience of employees.
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The FM Network Team