Mental Health Impacted by Workplace Culture

Negative workplace environments can lead to less productivity.

By HFT Staff
October 3, 2022

LifeWorks released its monthly Mental Health Index revealing that four out of 10 (38 percent) Americans believe there is a significant difference between the culture their workplace claims to have compared to the reality. Importantly, negative workplace cultures impact mental health and lead to two and a half times less productivity per year than positive work environments. 

The Index found that the mental health of U.S. workers remains significantly strained. 

The Mental Health Index score for August 2022 is 69.4 points out of 100, a modest improvement from July’s score of 68.9 with the lowest sub-score attributed to anxiety, at 62.3. 

Workplace culture is impacting the productivity of workers 

  • More than half of all employees believe the work culture affects their productivity. The overall U.S. Workplace Culture Score, a rating based on responses to nine cultural indicators, is 68.7 out of 100, which correlates directly to both mental health and the level of productivity. 
  • Nearly half (46 percent) report that their workplace culture increases productivity. This group has the most favorable mental health score (72.0) and applies more energy to their work. 
  • Almost one in ten (9 percent) report that their workplace culture decreases productivity. The mental health score of this group is 56.3, which sits 13 points below the national average (69.4). 
  • Managers are 50 percent more likely than non-managers to indicate that their workplace culture increases their productivity. 

Mental health is heavily influenced by realities of workplace culture 

  • The employee group that sees a strong disparity between the employer’s claim of a positive culture and their day-to-day reality, has a mental health score six points below the national average and almost 14 points below people who believe reality is aligned with employer claims. 
  • Those who say their workplace is uncaring or hostile have the lowest mental health scores (55.1), more than 21 points lower than those who consider the workplace supportive. 
  • Nine percent of respondents report their workplace culture does not promote inclusiveness. This group has a mental health score eight points below the national average. 



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