Global study finds mental health support is high in India, yet pandemic stress continues

07 October, 2021

  • 70% of workers in India say their employer supported mental wellbeing during the pandemic
  • Due to COVID-19, employees say their time and productivity is being increasingly monitored, risking further stress
  • 1 in 3 say they have taken on extra responsibilities since the pandemic

India – 7 October 2021 – Workers in India have cited their mental health has been supported by employers during COVID-19, but there’s still a long way to go as employees are taking on extra pandemic responsibilities. 

Support for mental health locally fared higher than the global average, as 70 per cent of workers in India said their employer supported their mental wellbeing compared to 65 per cent globally. 

The findings are based on a global study of more than 32,000 people titled ‘People at Work 2021: A Global Workforce View’, by the leading payroll and HCM technology provider ADP.

Rahul Goyal, ADP’s Managing Director of India and Southeast Asia, said there is a positive trend occurring in India, with greater importance being placed on the wellbeing of individuals in the workplace.

“It’s great to see so many businesses recognising the emotional and psychological toll the pandemic is having on their workforce and putting constructive measures in place to help them handle it,” said Mr. Goyal.

“It is interesting but unsurprising to see Indian employees feel more supported compared to the rest of the world. Many Indian companies during the pandemic have helped employees with regular reach-outs, 24/7 counselling helplines and even additional leave specifically for mental wellbeing.”

Despite the support, stress caused by the pandemic has still been a significant challenge for workers in India.

Staying healthy and balancing work and family needs were rated as the biggest challenges at work since COVID-19 began, as cited by almost 20 per cent of workers. Creating a safe home working environment and stress management were the biggest challenges by around 12 per cent, followed by maintaining productivity (9 per cent) and building relationships (7 per cent).

One in three workers (34 per cent) say they have taken on extra responsibilities since the pandemic.

Globally the study also found that more than 62 per cent of participants say that their employer is more closely monitoring time and work attendance. This increased to 72 per cent for workers in India.

“Efforts to support the mental wellbeing of staff are positive, however employers are keeping such close tabs on attendance and time-management. This can add to feelings of stress and anxiety for workers,” explained Mr. Goyal.

“It’s understandable that with so many staff working remotely, employers feel they need to keep a close eye on their activities. There’s also an argument to say that the traditional nine-to-five working day needs a re-think. Having people clocking in and out at specific times may no longer be the best way to deliver maximum productivity. HR software needs to keep pace with these new ways of working.

“This change in the way we work has thrown up a multitude of new challenges for workers and businesses alike. While employers need to adapt quickly, they must also tread carefully. Being seen to be appropriately managing issues around stress, wellbeing, productivity and morale is likely to be a key preoccupation for managers and HR teams alike going forward.

“HR departments can lead the way in improving culture and workplace practices moving forward. Understanding how teams and managers work together, and using employee data to identify opportunities for improvement, is the first step.”

ADP’s study aims to look at the effects of the pandemic on employee’ attitudes towards the current world of work - and what they expect of the workplace in the future.

Notes to editor

About the study

The ADP Research Institute surveyed 32,471 workers in 17 countries around the world between 17 November and 11 December 2020. 

This included:

  • 15,307 in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK) 
  • 3,811 in North America (USA and Canada)
  • 5,726 in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Chile) 
  • 7,627 in Asia Pacific (APAC) (Australia, China, India and Singapore) 

Global results are weighted to represent the size of the working population for each country.


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