NSC Labor Division news Research/studies Worker health and wellness Worker Health and Wellness

Survey looks at how collaboration affects worker mental health

Photo: julief514/iStockphoto

Toronto — Workers who collaborate more often with colleagues experience fewer mental health challenges than those who prefer to work alone, results of a recent survey show.

TELUS Health in May conducted an online survey of 5,000 U.S. workers. The health care organization assigned point values to each response, creating a mental health index in which higher point values indicated “better mental health and less mental health risk.”

Respondents whose jobs required them to collaborate with co-workers “all the time” had a mental health index score of 72.9. Meanwhile, employees who said they prefer to work alone “most of the time” had a score of 66.7. The national average was 70.9.

Nearly half of the respondents indicated they need to collaborate with co-workers some of the time, and that group’s mental health index score (70.5) hovered around the national average. The score for employees who prefer to work alone “some of the time” was 73.3.

The mental health index score for the 15% of the workers who said they don’t collaborate at all, 67.8, was below the national average.

“Positive relationships are an essential buffer for stress,” Paula Allen, TELUS Health’s global leader of researcher and client insights, said in a press release. “This underscores the need for employers to foster a culture that encourages connection and social support.”

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