66% of Spaniards suffer from mental health problems at work

“Stress at work is reaching critical levels; 67% of workers suffer from it at least once a week, compared to 62% before the pandemic. One in seven people (15%) feels stressed on a daily basis”, according to the study ‘People at Work 2022: a vision of the global human team’, carried out by the ADP Research Institute with the participation of more than 32,000 workers from 17 countries, in the “Mental Health” section, which concludes that “stress is increasing and work is suffering”.

This report, whose mission is to generate findings based on data on the world of work and to derive reliable economic indicators from this information with the aim of making a unique contribution to the improvement and productivity of the world of work, and to raise awareness of the economy in general, concludes that 53% of those questioned believe that their work “suffers from poor mental health”, a situation which they describe as “clearly unsustainable”.

“Most employers go to great lengths to support staff, with wellness days, stress breaks and counseling among the initiatives. However, amid intense and sustained pressure, questions remain as to what they can do to minimize stress triggers and ease the overall burden.

Specifically in Spain, 66% of workers suffer from work-related mental health problems at least once a week. At the top are Germany (77%), the United Kingdom (76%), Italy (70%), Switzerland (70%), Poland (68%) and below Spain are France (64%) and the Netherlands (58%). ).

Thus, the work of more than two thirds of Italians (67%) suffers from mental health problems, more than double the proportion who say so in the Netherlands (33%). Italians are the least likely in Europe (and globally) to say they feel supported by their bosses when it comes to mental health at work. There, less than half (47%) say their bosses support them in this regard, but in the Netherlands the figure rises to 61% (only surpassed at European level by the UK, with 64%). Around four in ten Italians (39%) say their company does nothing to promote positive mental health at work, compared to an EU average of 29%.

For those struggling with stress, the most common cause, accounting for 41%, is increased responsibility due to the pandemic. Other main sources of stress include the length of the working day (28% consider it excessive), problems with technology in 26% of cases and worries about job security, which cause stress for 25%. % workers. The pandemic has also affected in other ways, for example, for one in 11.9% workers surveyed admitted that being vaccinated causes them stress. In addition, for one in 12 workers, or 8%, having to share a workspace with someone they live with is a source of mental health problems.


The main finding of the 2022 survey is that it shows that, despite the widespread fear that exists, staff who work from home, in general, feel more valued than workers who go to the office. In addition, people who telecommute believe they have a fairer salary and better prospects in their future work.

When it comes to the difference between people who work remotely and those who work away from home, the numbers vary. Globally, 69% of remote workers say they feel supported by their company, compared to just 50% of those who come into the office. Additionally, the report finds that people who work from home have more conversations with their employers about their career development, skills or training needs.

Overall, 69% of people who work from home believe they are fairly compensated for their roles and responsibilities, and 68% for their skills. On the other hand, the percentages of those who go to a branch reach 49% and 47% respectively. In addition, the report also indicates that in Spain almost a fifth of workers, or 18%, are considering opening their own business.

Alarmingly, the report finds that up to 53% believe there is no mental health care in their work due to a mindset in which psychological issues are not considered. This figure is higher in Asia, where 56% of workers think their mental health is not important to their bosses. In Latin America, 51% of employees have this same vision and in North America and Europe 44% respectively, which affects the youngest the most. On a positive note, the report indicates that 75% of workers affected by mental health problems feel supported by their colleagues.

The report also highlights that in Europe, 29% of employers do nothing to promote positive mental health and highlights that most employers who are proactive in this area implement a wide variety of initiatives, including the following:

  • Communicate more with your employees.
  • Provide stress management tools including extra breaks in the day, access to “zen rooms”, wellness activities, meditation classes.
  • Access to a psychologist or specialized counsel, implementation of ‘teambuilding’ or ‘bonding’ activities.
  • Allow disconnection of work-related messages outside office hours.

Workers want change

The pandemic has led to a shift in work priorities for many people and there has begun to be a greater focus on issues such as family reconciliation, saving time in travel, feeling valued in the business or workplace mental health; however, for 68% of Spaniards, salary remains their main priority.

Almost six in ten European workers, 59%, are interested in the idea of ​​greater flexibility at work, suggesting that innovations such as a four-day working week would be acceptable. Spaniards are particularly open to this prospect, with 67% suggesting they prefer a four-day working week. Furthermore, less than half of European workers, 46%, believe they are fairly compensated for their skills or their role and responsibilities in the company, with France and Italy ranking at the bottom of the list.

The study shows, among other findings, that working from home has changed the way workers perceive the world of work, with an increasing proportion of people saying they would consider looking for another job if their employer insisted that they return to work. full time job.

According to ADP Iberia’s Director of Operations, Ana Koester, “Contrary to what many believed that remote employees would be less valued than those who come to the office, there is a real sense that employers are working to ensure that staff who work from home are properly compensated, recognized and supported. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the same consideration is being given to those who work in the office.”

“Companies need to balance their efforts to make those who physically come into their workplace every day feel equally appreciated and valued, and consider their salary, development, mental health and other issues, as those of those they work from home,” adds Koester.

For ADP, having human capital management data accessible to create visibility into people and teams could help guide decision-making, create a more connected internal culture, and improve trust and loyalty between employers and employees.

Yet the research suggests an emerging sentiment that a secure job is one that allows workers to earn a living in their own way, without compromising essentials such as health, well-being, their time, or even their personal beliefs. Thus, for about a third of respondents, factors such as flexible working hours or the pleasure of the working day are important in their work (respectively 33% and 32%). Almost a quarter (23%) refer to career progression.

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