Businesses nationwide are losing a staggering number of hours to anxiety, highlighting that it is not only depression having material impact on an organisation’s bottom line.
Resilience and leadership adviser Mike Conway said a 2018 study by Medibio tallied the lost hours of productivity and working time for Australian businesses directly resulting from anxiety at up to 100,000 hours annually.
The flow-on effects from this immediate loss of work time can be strains on professional relationships and limited career progression for individuals, while their employers take a hit to lost work time, higher rates of sick leave and reduced productivity.
“Anxiety is often linked with a self-induced fear of failure — which can be detrimental in a professional setting,” explained Mr Conway.
“As we spend a third of our lives at work, it’s no surprise that it’s a prime environment for anxiety.”
He suggested that the modern nature of work, with competing deadlines, constant pressure and an “always-on” mentality can be “immobilising” for people suffering from anxiety.
“A fear of disappointment is what hinders most people from asking for help – which is where our leaders come in,” Mr Conway said.
“An anxious leader cannot expect anything other than anxious followers. We need leaders with high emotional intelligence who are fine-tuned not just to take care of themselves, but are also fully aware of the impact they have on others.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.