, Singapore
Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

6 in 10 employees feel psychologically unsafe in their workplace

Singaporeans feel uncomfortable sharing about mental wellness with their officemates.

Singaporeans feel the least psychologically safe amongst employees in Southeast Asia (SEA), a survey by consumer research firm Milieu Insight found.

Milieu Insight defined the term "psychological safety" as a "shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking."

According to the firm's "Mental health At the Workplace" study, 62% of Singaporeans are uncomfortable sharing about mental wellness or periods when their mental health was affected by stressors in life with their supervisors, managers, and other relevant staff.

Of those who are uncomfortable sharing their struggles, 51% said they don't do so due to fear of being judged or discriminated against.

Some (41%) feared being perceived as weak or unproductive or lazy by their peers, and some are afraid that such will reflect on their performance evaluations.

More than half (53%) of Singaporeans said a culture of openness and psychological safety either does not exist in their company or is very poor.

To improve psychological safety in workplaces, most (68%) of employees want flexible working arrangements.

More than half (59%) of employees said they want paid mental wellness leave and time off, whilst 36% want their companies to have a budget for health and wellness activities.

“Psychological safety creates the conditions for employees to seek help from their managers and use the resources available to them. By increasing their mental health literacy and practising compassion, managers can positively influence the well-being of their teams," said Sabrina Ooi, CEO and co-founder of Calm Collective Asia.

"Companies need to recognise the business case for this: Psychological safety helps boost employee engagement, performance, and retention. It’s clear that healthy people equals healthy business,” Ooi added.

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