The real business cost of depression in the workplace

Posted on August 28th, 2014
Grow Thought Leaders Thought Leaders

The real business cost of depression in the workplacecliché to many of us, the term ‘blue Monday’ has a completely different meaning to the millions of South Africans suffering from depression. These individuals often find themselves trying to hide the very real challenges they are presented with – in the workplace – every day.

Business costs

The cost of depression in a workforce, especially in terms of small business where a single employee can make up around 10% of the total workforce, is both tangible and intangible.

The negative impact on staff morale, energy levels, teamwork and compromised contribution to innovation and creativity – for example – have a ripple effect and if left unchecked, will result in visible business costs.

  • See also: How to make stress work for you and your business

Poor productivity, poor customer service, lost work hours and brand damage are only some of the business costs directly linked to this illness in business.

 “A helpful tip is to invest in a wellness programme and/or initiatives”

Part-time versus full-time employees

A Gallup survey done in the US found that part-time workers were more likely to be affected by depression than full-time workers.

This marked difference should inform companies’ decision process when choosing a staffing partner; looking for both experience in handling industries and job types that are high risk for this illness such as night shift work or handling customer dissatisfaction as well as the ability to offer effective wellness programmes and initiatives that educate and provide access to information and help.

A helpful tip is to invest in a wellness programme and/or initiative which – for example – educates and breaks down the stigma associated with mental illness and ensures that HR and management are informed and equipped to offer advice.

About the author: Kay Vittee is the CEO of Quest Staffing Solutions (Pty) Ltd one of South Africa’s leading staffing solutions provider. She’s a business woman holding a Masters in Business Administration, a B.Com (Banking and Economics) and various other financial and marketing qualifications. Kay’s business acumen and success have made her a sought after speaker and thought leader.