Presenteeism and January blues among the most searched words in the UK

Mental health is an important issue. And the UK is now seeing a rise of search terms related to workplace mental health, according to new research

Presenteeism and January blues among the most searched words in the UK

From increasing workloads to never-ending deadlines, workplaces induce stress for both employers and employees – particularly for startups and SMEs. Undoubtedly, scaling a business is indeed tough. Consequently, mental wellbeing takes a serious hit. And it’s more essential now than ever to raise more awareness of presenteeism issues and working overtime. 

And clearly UK employees are increasingly realising the importance of a work-life balance as presenteeism is one of the most popular words searched online – up 113.5% from January 2015 until February 2019. But going even further, the search volume of the term January blues had a hefty increase of 423% between 2018 and 2019. The findings were collated by employee experience platform Perkbox and SaaS marketing platform SEMrush which analysed mental wellbeing in the UK.

Conversely, average searches for absenteeism decreased in 2018, although its yearly search volume is still higher than presenteeism. The search volume for stress also decreased, as it did for depression between 2016 and 2018. However, depression’s search volume rose to 5.4% in 2019 and the volume for both depression and stress remain high, with an average of 122,500 yearly in 2019.   

Commenting on the rise of mental health awareness in UK workplaces, Hannah Sims, product manager at Perkbox Medical, said: “These findings are evidence of just how important it is to properly cater for the needs of your employees – physically, financially and emotionally. Its effects are truly felt on the wellbeing of individuals, inside and outside of work. It’s a huge responsibility that we must learn to own as employers. Whilst it’s all very well to put together initiatives, if we’re not owning the responsibility fully, i.e. coupling the initiatives with good management – for example in the case of unlimited holidays – little will be achieved to help improve people’s mental health.”

While awareness of mental wellbeing issues such as anxiety and depression are on the increase, specific mental wellbeing in relation to the workplace needs more recognition for progress to be made. 

Louisa Cook
Louisa Cook

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