Study finds three fold increase in risk of depression due to toxic workplace culturetext_fields
Sydney: New policies, rapid changes and a lack of job security amid the pandemic can impact the dynamics of a workplace and create a toxic work environment.
And now a year-long Australian population study has found that full-time workers employed by organisations that fail to prioritise their employees' mental health have a threefold increased risk of being diagnosed with depression
According to the researchers from the University of South Australia, working long hours is a risk factor for dying from cardiovascular disease or having a stroke, poor management practices pose a greater risk for depression.
As per the lead author Amy Zadow, in the study published in the British Medical Journal, poor workplace mental health can be traced back to poor management practices, priorities and values, which then flows through to high job demands and low resources.
According to the evidence found during the study, Zadow said that companies who fail to reward or acknowledge their employees for hard work, impose unreasonable demands on workers, and do not give them autonomy, are placing their staff at a much greater risk of depression.
While enthusiastic and committed workers are valued, working long hours can lead to depression, affecting an estimated 300 million people worldwide. Men are also more likely to become depressed if their workplace pays scant attention to their psychological health.
High levels of burnout and workplace bullying are also linked to corporations' failure to support workers' mental health, said, researchers.
A separate paper co-authored by an internationally renowned expert on workplace mental health, ARC Laureate Professor Maureen Dollard and published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology earlier this month, found that low psychosocial safety climate (PSC) was an important predictor of bullying and emotional exhaustion.
PSC is the term used to describe management practices and communication and participation systems that protect workers' mental health and safety.
The study found that bullying in a work unit can not only negatively affect the victim, but also the perpetrator and team members who witness that behaviour. It is not uncommon for everyone in the same unit to experience burnout as a result.