Fatigue, anxiety: the mental health of French employees continues to deteriorate

Fatigue, anxiety: the mental health of French employees continues to deteriorate

Most French employees say they feel fulfilled in their professional life, but this does not prevent them from experiencing significant mental fatigue. On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, October 10, a survey provides an overview of well-being at work, and shows how the French try to cope with the demands and pressures felt on a daily basis, by face-to-face as well as teleworking.

A major public health issue, mental health is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a state of mental well-being that allows us to cope with life’s stressors, realize our potential, learn and work well, and contribute to the life of the community“. There are many sources of stress that can weigh on the mental health of populations, including the financial situation, the family situation, or even the professional situation. It is this last parameter which is at the heart of a survey carried out by OpinionWay for Psychodon on the occasion of World Mental Health Day. It reveals that French employees remain generally satisfied with their professional lives, despite numerous factors that weigh on their well-being.

Between fulfillment and exhaustion

First lesson from the barometer, more than two thirds of French employees (69%) say they are fulfilled, including 18% “completely fulfilled”, compared to a minority (8%) who say they are not at all. Good news for the majority of respondents, except that this figure is down slightly compared to the last edition carried out in 2022 where seven out of ten French employees said they were fulfilled in their professional life. And these data should be compared with the average rating given by respondents to their mental health, namely 7.2/10, or 0.3 points less than last year. Note in this respect that men and employees aged 50 to 64 are more likely to give a good rating to their mental health (7.5 and 7.7 respectively), than the younger generations, particularly 18-24 year olds. and 25-34 year olds, and women (6.5 and 6.9).

The survey also reveals that most French employees (60%) are generally in a positive state of mind when they start their work, among whom a third say they show desire, motivation and good humor, and 27 % serenity, tranquility, and relaxation. Among those who, on the contrary, say they begin their work in a negative state of mind, 16% say they feel nervous, worried and anxious. And while the first indicators seemed green regarding the well-being of employees at work, we discovered that 81% of respondents admitted to feeling mental fatigue linked to the demands and pressures felt in their professional life. Among them, 14% even say they feel this fatigue “frequently”, and 30% “regularly”.

What resources to get better?

Even more teleworking employees (90%) associate the mental fatigue felt with their work, yet they affirm that remote work has a positive impact on their mental health, up to 91%. But it is not the only safety valve used by employees to deal with problems and obstacles to their well-being. The barometer reveals that 17% of respondents are followed by a psychiatrist, psychologist or psychotherapist, i.e. 5 points more compared to 2022. The younger generations are again more likely to consult this type of health professional: 37% among 18-24 year olds and 28% among 25-34 year olds.

If they are monitored on a personal basis, nearly four employees in ten (36%) say they benefit from resources within their company to promote their well-being, although some do not use them. They were only 30% last year, reflecting the efforts made in the workplace to promote the mental health of employees. In the same vein, three in ten respondents are aware of being able to train in mental health first aid, 12% of whom have already decided to participate in this training.