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Remote staff taking more mental health leave than those on-site

Remote workers are more likely to take time off for mental health related reasons than employees who work on-site.

Research from invoice platform Skynova found half (50%) of on-site workers had taken at least one day off for mental health reasons in the past year, compared to 75% of remote workers and 82% of hybrid workers.

There were also generational differences in taking mental health days - 76% of millennials took at least one mental health day compared to 67% of Gen X and 50% of baby boomers.

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The survey showed that it was easier to take time off when working remotely, as 67% of remote employees found it easier to skip work without providing a reason than if they were working on-site.

Speaking to HR magazine Neil Morrison, HR director at water company Severn Trent, said: "It’s great news that the majority of the workforce, those that can’t work from home, feel supported and able to take time off to deal with unexpected events and maybe highlights some of the emotional and social benefits of being in the workplace with your team and manager.

"But the research suggests that organisations supporting hybrid or remote working need to do more if they’re going to continue with that direction to support their employees and not make them feel under greater pressure."

With the impact of the pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis, companies have had to pay more attention to the wellbeing of their staff.

Managers were willing to let employees take time off without notice, with nearly half (47%) of managers finding two to three unexpected absences a year acceptable.

Sickness, bereavement and home emergencies were deemed the most acceptable reasons for on-site staff to miss work.

Skynova surveyed 1,007 people, including 753 employees and 254 managers.