The latest Hays Barometer Report revealed that 72 per cent of employers said their organisation’s focus on mental health and wellbeing increased either significantly or moderately through the pandemic.
On the other hand, the report also found that only 26 per cent of employers agreed that the level of support had increased.
However, Hays suggested the gap will soon reduce, with 71 per cent of employers saying mental health and wellbeing will become even more of a priority in their organisation over the next three to six months.
Most concerning is that before the first COVID-19 lockdown in March, 63 per cent of employees rated their mental health and wellbeing as positive.
Despite efforts from workplaces to address mental health, the Hays report found that figure has since dropped to 42 per cent of employees.
By industry, resources and mining is a stand-out, with 87 per cent of professionals rating their current mental health and wellbeing as either positive or neutral, down by just 7 per cent before the outbreak.
On the other end of the scale, only 55 per cent of sales professionals rated their current mental health and wellbeing as positive or neutral, down from 90 per cent pre-pandemic.
The survey also revealed that almost half (49 per cent) of skilled professionals feel less positive about their career in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the importance to professionals of working in a secure job,” said Hays managing director in Australia and New Zealand Nick Deligiannis.
“This crisis has upended the professional lives of many and the shock brought on by rapid change and uncertainty has been unsettling.”
However, Mr Deligiannis said confidence will return, and that employers are already returning to growth.
“In time, competition for the top talent will heat up once more and careers will progress again with certainty,” he said.
The survey was conducted in August 2020 and was completed by 4,105 people. Of these, 966 responded as employers and 3,139 were working professionals.