An analysis of all FTSE 100 annual reports has found a statistically significant link between the reporting of employee mental health and wellbeing issues and corporate earnings. Companies that addressed the issue in their 2016 reports showed up to three times more profit.

The study was conducted by digital health startup Soma Analytics, which uses machine-learning and cognitive behavioural science to detect and prevent psychological stress among office workers. It suggests that companies that ‘care’ about employee mental health issues to the extent that they report on them publicly are more productive than those that don't.

“Businesses that openly address the issue of mental health in the workplace appear to perform better than those that don’t,” said Johann Huber, co-founder and CEO of Soma Analytics. “It’s not possible to say if this is a causal link, but it is a statistically significant and gives a good indication.”

The study includes a foreword by Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity. Mamo writes: “This report shows that employers who are starting to take the issue of workplace wellbeing more seriously are also seeing financial results…. We hope that the positive results of this report encourage employers in the UK to do more to promote good mental health for their employees.”

Soma’s FTSE 100 Report 2017: Mental Health and Wellbeing is based on a semantic analysis of all the annual reports published by FTSE 100 companies in the last year. More than 20,000 pages of corporate reporting were scanned for references to employee mental health and wellbeing. Results were clustered by company size, revenue and industry as well as by Glassdoor rating. A statistical analysis of variance between mental health and wellbeing count and company profitability was also undertaken.

The best-performing sectors include utilities and pharmaceutical companies. Among the worst performers are retail, consumer goods and construction businesses. All 100 companies and their results are listed.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded on the 10th October at: www.soma-analytics.com/ftse100 or requested using the contact details below.

About Soma Analytics

Soma Analytics is a London-based digital health business that specialises in detecting and preventing mental health issues among corporate employees.

Its Kelaa smartphone app is driven by artificial intelligence and is used by some of Britain’s largest corporations. It reduces the costs associated with employee absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover, while increasing employee resilience, productivity and engagement.

Soma Analytics is also running a large-scale randomly controlled trial (RCT) on the early detection of mental health issues in the workplace, backed by the Horizon 2020 research fund.

The costs of work-related stress and depression in the EU-27 is estimated to exceed €600 billion annually by the EU’s Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC), with absenteeism (€272 billion) and lost productivity (€242 billion) accounting for the bulk of the loss.

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