More than 35% of workers at companies with less than 500 employees would not be happy with their jobs and more than 37% would not work for their current employer in a year, if it were up to them.

These findings emerge from a study conducted by the Relief Research Chair in Mental Health, Self-management and Work, Laval University, among 2,500 employees in companies with fewer than 500 employees in Canada. Results were presented Thursday at a press conference in Montreal, in the company of actors from the workplace.

Many companies ignore employee mental health, failing to understand its importance, explained Martin Énault, chairman of the board of directors of Relief, an organization that supports those living with problems of anxiety, depression, example.

Excessive amount of work, pressure to work quickly, surveillance at work, emotionally demanding job, several reasons are cited to explain this mental pressure at work, which sometimes results in anxiety, depression.

“If you go back to 40 years ago, there were none, psychosocial risks, or much less. These are risks that have emerged with the tertiarization of the economy, “said the Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet.

Companies need to pay more attention to these workplace mental health issues. “These issues impact business productivity, if not properly addressed, and business operating costs. So there is an important economic angle here, for our organization, to ensure that the work that is carried out by Relief – among other things with the tools that have been presented with Relief Affaires – can be generally deployed with all employers, so that we can reduce the issues related to mental health, “reacted Karl Blackburn, president of the Conseil du patronat du Québec.

Telecommuting helps release this pressure, the study confirms.

“The more employees spend their work time working remotely, the more they perceive a supportive work environment. They feel better recognized, more autonomous.

“People, when they are at home working from home, they have their home, they have their cocoon. Whereas when you come to a company and you have no objects, no plants, the office can belong to another person and you have no sense of security, it can be harmful,” explained Jean-Rémy Provost, CEO of Relief.

Telecommuting isn’t all good or all bad; it depends on the individuals, says the research chair study.

“Therefore, you have to pay attention to the specific needs of employees, since a one-size-fits-all approach to supporting employees working from home would not suit everyone. »

And employees also have their way to go in this area, in particular through practices of self-management of stress and their psychological health in general, we argue in the study.