New Data From Ginger Shows Nearly 70 Percent of Workers Feel More Stressed During COVID-19 Than at Any Other Point in Their Entire Professional Career

One third of U.S. workers are losing two or more hours of productivity per day from increased stress

Employees are increasingly turning to virtual mental health support during COVID-19, with 40 percent of those who tried it having done so within the last week

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#COVID19Ginger, the leader in on-demand mental healthcare, today announced new data on the mental health of U.S. workers before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In follow up to Ginger’s Second Annual Workforce Attitudes Report, fielded in February 2020, the survey compiled data from U.S. full-time workers in April to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trends in Ginger’s data reveal a dramatic increase in U.S. employee stress levels, a significant drop in productivity, and an uptick in the use of virtual mental healthcare for support.

U.S. workers were stressed before COVID-19; now, stress levels are through the roof.

Before the onset of COVID-19, almost 60 percent of workers shared that stress had brought them to tears at work, a 23 percent increase from 2019. Surveyed following the onset of COVID-19, workers’ stress levels are significantly higher:

  • 88 percent of workers reported experiencing moderate to extreme stress over the past 4-6 weeks.
  • 69 percent of workers claimed this was the most stressful time of their entire professional career, including major events like the September 11 terror attacks, the 2008 Great Recession and others. Every demographic, including adults over the age of 55, rated COVID-19 as the most stressful time.
  • 91 percent of employees working from home reported experiencing moderate to extreme stress.
  • 43 percent of employees have become physically ill as a result of work-related stress.

COVID-19-related stress is having a dramatic impact on employee productivity, and men appear to be disproportionately impacted.

  • 62 percent of workers reported losing at least one hour a day in productivity due to COVID-19 related stress, with 32 percent losing more than two hours per day.
  • 70 percent of workers agreed that employees at their company are significantly less productive because of stress and anxiety surrounding COVID-19.
  • Men are 27 percent more likely to lose hours of productivity. In fact, men report that their work lives are significantly more impacted by stress:

Impact

Men

 

Women

Unable to attend meetings

33%

 

13%

Harder to collaborate with coworkers

51%

 

36%

Missed days of work

28%

 

15%

Increase in illness or health issues

36%

 

21%

“Whether they are working on the front lines or working at home, employees are urgently in need of accessible, equitable mental health benefits now more than ever,” said Sally Welborn, Executive Advisor at the Employer Health Innovation Roundtable and Former Senior Vice President of Global Benefits for Walmart Stores, Inc. “As employers wrestle with business continuity planning during COVID-19, this research confirms that employers need to make mental health support a critical aspect of that plan, or risk a dramatic impact on employee health and productivity.”

Employees believe their company could do more to support their mental health, and see a direct connection to business outcomes.

While 53 percent of workers said their company has increased its focus on employee mental health as a result of COVID-19, the research shows that there is room for improvement:

  • 63 percent of workers reported that their company could do more to support their emotional and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within this group, 22 percent of workers said their company’s response was “barely adequate,” “a disaster” or “non-existent”.
  • Only 35 percent of people strongly agreed that their employer is taking more of an interest in the emotional and mental health of employees now than in the past.
  • 93 percent of employees agreed that companies that survive COVID-19 will be those who support employee mental health.

Employees were already interested in the virtual delivery of mental healthcare, and now they’re quickly turning to it for support.

Before COVID-19, employees rated the ability to text or video chat with a mental health professional as the top service they desire from their mental health benefits – across almost every demographic including age, gender and role. Now, employees are rapidly turning to online solutions for support:

  • 38 percent of employees have tried a technology-based mental health service. Of this group, 40 percent have tried it within the last week (3/25/20-4/1/20), 24 percent within the last month and 11 percent within the last 2 months.
  • 70 percent of employees who used a technology-based mental health service for the first time in the past month did so to deal with COVID-19 stress. 48 percent tried it because their regular counselor had moved to online sessions.
  • 80 percent of employees would be more likely to use an emotional or mental health benefit if they access it through their smartphone.

Supporting these survey results, Ginger has seen an uptick in the intensity and frequency of their members’ mental health needs surrounding COVID-19, including:

  • Nearly 50 percent increase in the number of active members during February and March as compared to the previous six months.
  • 50 percent increase in virtual therapy and psychiatry sessions per week since the beginning of February.
  • Intensity ratings, which help our coaches manage workload, up by 12 percent since the beginning of February.

“Our research shows that in the wake of COVID-19, employees are even more eager for better access to mental healthcare,” said Russell Glass, CEO, Ginger. “And we’re seeing this both in our work with individuals and from companies looking to better support their employees. Ginger has been designed to scale the delivery of high quality mental health support, and is fortunate to be in a position to handle the skyrocketing demand that has come with these unprecedented circumstances.”

To support the growing mental health needs of U.S. workers during this challenging time, Ginger announced three new programs in March to support the growing mental health crisis surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes offering free behavioral health coaching for frontline healthcare workers of U.S.-based health systems, making Ginger’s COVID-19 in-app resources free and available to the general public, and waiving annual commitments for new employer clients. Learn more here: www.ginger.io/resources or contact Ginger directly at [email protected]

The full 2020 Workforce Attitudes Towards Mental Health Report from Ginger will explore year-over-year trends in employee stress and shifting attitudes toward virtual mental health support. The full report will be available on April 27, 2020. Information on these key findings and other resources is available at www.ginger.io/resources.

To learn more about Ginger, visit www.ginger.io.

About Ginger

Ginger is reinventing mental healthcare by coupling data science and virtual delivery to provide immediate, personal support for anyone. Care from our on-demand mental health system is delivered through the Ginger app, available on iOS and Android, where members can conveniently connect with Ginger’s team of behavioral health coaches – 24/7, 365 days a year. For those in need of additional support, a therapist or psychiatrist can be added to their care team. Over half a million people have access to Ginger through leading employers, health plans and other partners. The World Economic Forum has identified Ginger’s AI technology as a Technology Pioneer, and the company was recognized as one of the top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Healthcare by Fast Company. Learn more about our vision to build a world where mental health is never an obstacle at ginger.io, or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Contacts

Victoria Barnes

Head of Communications, Ginger

781 249 3738

[email protected]

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