Nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of U.S. employees say they’ve experienced harm to their mental health or experienced harassment at work in the past 12 months, compared to 14 per cent in 2022, according to a new survey by the American Psychological Association.
The survey, which polled more than 2,500 employees, found 19 per cent said their workplace is very or somewhat toxic. Employees who reported working in a toxic workplace (52 per cent) were more than three-times as likely to have experienced harm to their mental health at work than those who reported a healthy workplace (15 per cent).
Employees who worked in customer and patient service jobs were more likely (31 per cent) than manual labourers (23 per cent) and office workers (22 per cent) to report experiencing verbal abuse at work.
Roughly 12 per cent of manual labourers reported someone within their organization displayed physical violence towards them, while a fifth of office workers (five per cent) and customer and patient service workers (six per cent) reported the same.
The survey also found 22 per cent of respondents said they witnessed discrimination in their current workplace and 15 per cent reported experiencing discrimination. More than a quarter (28 per cent) said they’ve witnessed negative slights, insults or jokes that devalued the identity or negated the feelings of others based on their identity or background, while 19 per cent said they’ve been the target of these behaviours.
The majority of employees said it’s very (57 per cent) or somewhat (35 per cent) important to work for an organization that values their emotional and psychological well-being. Employees also said it’s very (52 per cent) or somewhat (40 per cent) important for their employer to provide mental-health support.
“Our survey data confirms employees prioritize both physical and psychological support at work and the practices employers are putting in place are heading in the right direction,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., the APA’s chief executive officer, in a press release. “However, it is clear there are many areas that require improvement. The number of workers experiencing not only a toxic workplace, but also increasing amounts of stress and a lack of respect concerning their personal time, is disturbing.”