A majority of Indian professionals experience stress at work on at least a weekly basis, according to new data from ADP.

According to the report, seven in 10 Indian workers (70 per cent) said that they were experiencing stress at least once during the working week on a regular basis.

The report further added that stress levels among the Indian workforce were significantly higher than the Asia-Pacific average of 60 per cent.

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The survey further found that work-life balance was more often a strong indicator of mental health in the workplace. As per the report, 46 per cent of Indian workers reported doing around 6-10 hours of work unpaid every week.

“Unpaid overtime can be extremely demoralising, particularly over sustained periods of time. Some of the most effective ways to improve work-life balance in your organisation include offering and insisting on the use of flex-time options, flexible vacation scheduling and time off for medical or other appointments. Establishing parameters for ignoring emails or texts after hours will also help your employees disconnect and could help minimise the prevalence of stress,” Rahul Goyal, Managing Director at ADP India, said.

As for the positives, the report found that Indians were amongst the most likely within APAC to discuss mental health problems at work. 89 per cent of participants said that they were comfortable discussing mental health with someone at work.

“For business owners, leaders and managers, there is a duty of care to foster a work environment that prioritises its employees’ mental health and well-being. While being under pressure is a normal part of life, the number of Indian workers reporting that they are experiencing stress on a weekly basis suggests we are falling short,” said Goyal.

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“It is widely accepted that stress can cause or exacerbate existing mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression. Mental health has a huge impact on people, communities, businesses and the economy. Alongside the ethical considerations to creating a supportive and productive work environment, we know there is a strong business case to be made too,” he said.

“An open and honest dialogue is the first step in addressing mental health issues – raising concerns means plans and procedures can be introduced to help alleviate the causes of stress. The data shows India has made excellent progress here. We should dig deep and move quickly to understand how India has achieved this so it can be replicated in other markets where progress in discussing mental health in the workplace remains slow and stagnant,” he added.

The report was based on a survey of 1,908 workers in India.