How Does Company Culture Affect Employee Mental Health?

As companies grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic and the shifting landscape they would have to navigate, it also affected the employees’ ability to interact face-to-face with their clients. Although companies found ways around the shifting landscape of the pandemic with video-messaging software like Zoom or Google Meet, that doesn’t address how the culture of the business is affecting their employees’ mental health. Whether as a by-product of the pandemic or expanding workloads, the compounding “forces” could cause further stress on an employee and the personal situations they could be facing.

Additionally, the company culture could also affect an employee’s mental health.

The culture or environment the company creates can either positively or negatively affect not just the employees themselves but their ability to be productive and engage with their clients. For example, if an employee’s work environment exacerbates their mental health, what does that say about the company? 

Outside of the services provided, a company’s culture is a gateway to draw potential clients in. Employees are the ambassadors for the company and should not only feel comfortable with the company, but interacting with their customers. If an employee feels like the company doesn’t have the services or refuses to look into how their culture is affecting their employees, why should the employee stay?

“Healthy, confident teams are vital to the success of any business, with happy workers 12% more productive than the average worker”

Olly Goodall

In a 2019 article by Real Business titled “How company culture affects employee health and wellbeing,” writer Olly Goodall notes that remembering the health and wellbeing of your employees isn’t something that should be just a check of the box. It’s not just remembering the health and wellbeing of your employees that is important but also the ability of the company to “safeguard your people, improve company culture, and set your business up for success.”

According to Goodall, employers are beginning to see how they can play a “critical role in supporting and improving their employees’ health.” Additionally, the UK’s Modern Family Index in 2018 found that 72% of employees brought work home on the weekends and 42% of employees were unable to spend time with their families. The high number of employees in 2018 bringing work home, and thus unable to spend time with their families is staggering.

The amount of employees bringing work home didn’t improve when COVID-19 forced companies to shift towards an online platform. Remote work means that not only do employees have to juggle online meetings and a heavy workload, but also personal situations.

A Forbes article titled “Creating A Workplace Culture That Values Mental Health” writes that since companies have begun remote work, they are finding ways to cost-efficiently promote better health in their employees and create a workplace that doesn’t stigmatize mental health needs but values them and provides support for them. Like the Real Business article, author Garen Staglin mentions how employers play not just a critical role in the culture of their company but also in helping shape their employees’ mental and physical health.

If the employee is physically unwell, that could affect their ability to interact with co-workers, potential clients, and managers. How can an employee effectively do their job if not properly treated, whether at work through programs like peer support networks or amongst family and trusted friends?

“Creating a workplace culture that values mental health does not need to be a costly endeavor, and in many cases, there is plenty of low-hanging fruit that can bear rewards for employers”

Garen Staglin

Poor leadership, for example, can affect an employee’s mental health. If an employer doesn’t convey information in a way that the employees can understand, employees would be unable to effectively perform their job. A company’s leadership reflects a lot on the employees and thus towards their clients and business partners. Good leadership maintains a structure, but poor leadership causes employees, managers, CEOs, etc… to argue and cause tension in the workplace.

“In a poor workplace culture there tends to be a much wider tolerance margin for bad behavior and over time staff members can be impacted by those behaviors. They may make complaints; those complaints may be ignored and as such staff become disgruntled and distressed.” (Faps)


Faps-Cotton, Peter. “How poor workplace culture can affect wellbeing.Psychlopaedia.  Accessed 16 May 2021.

Goodall, Olly. “How company culture affects employee health and wellbeing.Real Business.  Accessed 16 May 2021.

Staglin, Garen. “Creating A Workplace Culture That Values Mental Health.” Forbes. Accessed 16 May 2021.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash


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