SOTA Review

Workplace mental health: implications for team working

ERC SOTA Review No 58

Associated Themes
  • Mental Health

This review considers empirical evidence on the effects of workplace mental health issues on team working, and concludes that, given the empirical links between effective team working and organisation-level outcomes, this is an under-researched area that merits further attention. Studies have explored the attitudes and experiences of co-workers towards a colleague with mental health issues, and found that stigma associated with these issues can provoke prejudice and discrimination towards colleagues. Research has also addressed workplace relationships between those with mental health issues and their co-workers, and found tensions and feelings of alienation and ostracism, often related to co-worker suspicion of work-related adjustments made for those requiring them. It is not yet known what effect this has (if any) on team performance. In the light of the well-documented growth in mental health issues, and the productivity impacts of poor workplace mental health, increasing understanding around how team functioning and performance may be affected by the mental health issues of team members could provide insight to inform policy and practice in this area.