In September 2022, we asked over 2,000 UK workers about their job satisfaction and reasons for taking time off work. The results reveal that men are less likely to take time off when they need to recharge and may be more likely to hide their mental health issues in the workplace.
As we approach International Men’s Day on November 19th, we explore how open conversations and tailored wellbeing support can help keep men healthy and engaged at work.
Men stay in their roles despite being unsatisfied at work
Our research found that younger men report being satisfied at work but are still likely to be looking for a new job. Men aged 45+ report the lowest levels of job satisfaction but are more likely to stick it out in their roles despite feeling disengaged.
- Men aged 45-54 are least satisfied demographic at work.
- Men aged 55-64 are half as likely to be looking for a new job than those aged 25-34.
- Over half (59%) of men under 45 are considering looking for a new job.
Men are less likely to take time off to recover from stress and burnout
While men and women report similar levels of poor mental health, men are less likely to seek support from their employer or take time off to recover. Businesses could be left unaware of men's mental health challenges as they continue to work while masking the extent of their struggles.
- Men report taking half as much time off work to recover from stress and burnout compared to women.
- Only 15% of men have taken time off due to mental health, compared to 40% for physical illness.
- Over three-fifths (61%) of men say their employer doesn't offer mental health support as a workplace benefit.
- Men aged 20 – 40 seek advice from their GP half as often as women the same age.
This suggests that presenteeism — coming to work despite illness, injury or mental health problems — could be higher than HR teams expect, resulting in reduced productivity across the workforce.
Learnings for leadership teams
- Job satisfaction doesn't necessarily mean an employee will stay in their role — there may be hidden issues that management need to address, especially amongst younger workers.
- An open workplace culture can make talking about wellbeing a normal part of the workday. Leaders can start by modelling behaviour and talking openly about their own mental health. Leading by example can help make employees feel more comfortable to open up and seek support.
- Presenteeism can be especially difficult to spot if employees are working remotely, so it's important that managers make the time to have conversations about wellbeing.
- Training such as a Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider®) course can help give both managers and colleagues the confidence to discuss mental health at work.
Free men’s health downloads
Our PDF guides offer tips to support men’s health in the workplace, including advice for managers and a printable ‘know your numbers’ health check poster for employees.
Visit our men’s health page