Negative Work Experiences Are Impacting Employee Mental Health

New research from WorkScore shows that negative experiences at work are impacting employee mental health.

We analysed the scores from over 11,000 employees and found that employees who have negative experiences at work have more anxiety, more depression and are unhappy at work.

Our survey results reveal that employees who work full-time are less affected by poor mental health conditions and have a better mindset than workers who work casual or part-time. It also highlights that employee experiences whilst at work can either have a positive or negative impact on mental health.

WorkScore identified 5 key areas of employees’ experiences at work that impact mental health in the areas of anxiety, depression happiness at work and mental health impairment.

  • Receiving recognition at work

  • Feeling a sense of achievement

  • Having a role that requires concentration

  • Feeling engaged at work

  • Having a sense of belonging and teamwork

Engagement, recognition and high concentration were the three that impacted employees’ mental health the most.


43% of our respondents say they do not get regular recognition and it is impacting their mental health. The happiness at work rating drops by 30% whilst frequency of depression and anxiety increases by over 15% for this group.


Employees who do not get regular recognition at work experience more anxiety and depression than their recognised peers.

Sense of achievement

In our findings, half of employees felt a sense of achievement; however 25% did not.

Experiencing a high sense of achievement is important for mental health, as employees who rate a high sense of achievement are 27% happier at work, 20% less down or depressed and 14% less affected by mental health conditions.

High concentration levels

Based on our results, 40% of employees say they have high concentration levels at work whilst a staggering 30% rate low. Those employees who have high concentration are close to 30% happier and have 16% lower instances of anxiety and depression. This clearly demonstrates that a focus on work tasks improves mental health.

Engaged by work

25% of employees surveyed rated as having low engagement at work compared to 50% that were engaged.

Those that were engaged experience less anxiety and depression and have less mental health issues by an average 15% then those who felt disengaged. These employees were also over 30% happier whilst at work.


Engaged employees feel less anxious, less depressed and have better mental health than disengaged employees.

Belonging and teamwork

Nearly a quarter of employees (22%) don’t feel they belong in the workplace and it is impacting their anxiety levels. Compared to their more comfortable peers they rate 14% more anxious and less happy at work.

These findings demonstrate that it is crucial to promote a positive work culture.


Nearly 25% of employees do not experience a sense of belonging and teamwork.  

Here are three ways you can foster a better environment for your employees:

Regular positive feedback for employees

Clearly, giving positive feedback helps employees thrive and regular updates on their personal performance helps them feel valued. Feedback provides guidance, leading employees to feel more confident in their competence.

Invest in team wellbeing activities

Workplace health and wellbeing activities not only improves your employees’ wellness, but they can also lead to a significant increase in engagement and overall productivity. Wellbeing activities also create healthier work environments. Incorporate a balance between physical activity and mental fitness sessions and human and technology delivered programs for a broader approach to wellbeing.

Support concentration and collaboration

Employees thrive in environments that allow for a balance between focus and teamwork. Establish team goals that leverage each member’s strengths, empower employees to complete tasks and be sure to share the wins. 

Invest in your team by fostering positivity in the workplace. A positive workplace culture offers immediate benefits to employees’ mental health and can lead to greater productivity and satisfaction, meaning more success and growth for the business. Their mental health is important for your business, too.