3 in 10 workers say workplace not psychologically safe

Canada, U.S. have highest marks among 24 countries: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 03/15/2012

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Companies around the globe have work to do to improve worker satisfaction because only three in 10 employees say their workplace is psychologically safe and healthy, according to a poll.

Whether it is due to stress, interpersonal conflict, frustration, lack of feedback or promotion, 27 per cent of workers in 24 countries said they are not happy with the psychological aspects of their work environment, found the survey by research company Ipsos for Reuters.

"Employers need to pay attention to their employees' mental health, not just their physical health," said Alexandra Evershed, senior vice-president at Ipsos public affairs. "Three in 10 is still a fairly large proportion and that goes up to 44 per cent and 43 per cent in Argentina and Mexico and 42 per cent in Hungary,"

Nearly one-half, 47 per cent, of the 14,618 workers polled agreed their workplace was "a psychologically safe and healthy environment to work in" and 26 per cent hovered on the fence and weren't sure.

Although many North Americans have fewer holidays than Europeans and may work longer hours and enjoy fewer social services, Americans and Canadians had the highest marks for positively assessing the mental health of their workplace, followed by workers in India, Australia, Great Britain and South Africa.

The improving economies in some countries could have played a part in the positive assessment among employees, said Evershed.

"It's better than it was," she said. "India, China, Brazil, South Africa — these are countries where the economic picture has been brightening." 

Older workers over 50 with a good household income who have completed a higher level of education were the most satisfied with the psychological aspects of their workplace.

"This is an online survey, therefore, in countries like Brazil, South Africa and China we are surveying people who are a bit better off," said Evershed.

Ipsos polled workers in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States.

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