More than half of Filipino workers have experienced mental health challenges during the pandemic, with many of them considering quitting their jobs, mental health firm MindNation said, citing the findings of a study.

According to the report released Wednesday on a study of 6,000 respondents, 53% said they worry about health risks and financial pressures.

“Now that the boundaries between personal life and work are blurred with people working from home, employees are working more than they did pre-pandemic when they were onsite with colleagues,” according to the report. Almost half of the respondents said that they have too much work.

The survey, conducted between September and April, found that respondents were experiencing weakened focus and low levels of self-confidence. Employees also reported sleeping problems and less pleasure in activities they normally enjoy.

Mental health challenges led 13% of respondents to consider more sick leave, while 35% believe their productivity has been impaired.

“The ones having productivity issues are losing an average of two hours every day. This means that these employees are losing one day per week, which translates into a loss of two months a year due to their productivity challenges,” it said.

Almost a quarter of the respondents said they are thinking about quitting due to mental health challenges.

“When we factor in the employees who are really challenged with mental health issues and think about quitting, it becomes 5% of the total employee base in every company,” the study found.

MindNation said that these concerns could cost companies at least P700,000 per 100 employees each year, based on a 262-day work a year and a $30 daily average salary.

“Losing talent is a significant failure to the company as it takes days to find a replacement for a vacated position. This also entails additional time and effort from the organization as a new hire requires onboarding and training,” MindNation said.

In countries like the US, resignations hit record numbers. More than four million Americans quit their jobs in April.

MindNation said that employee assistance programs in the Philippines have low usage rates and are not always accessible.

The firm said companies should increase the reach of mental health services for employees because they are usually made available to a small part of a company’s population.

“It is crucial to be proactive (instead of) reactive in mental health and wellbeing challenges, providing a safe space where employees can open up the moment they need it, rather than waiting until it is too late,” it added. — Jenina P. Ibañez