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35% of Workers Say Their Jobs Have a Negative Effect on their Mental Health, New SHRM Mental Health Research Notes

ALEXANDRIA, VA – SHRM, the trusted authority on all things work, launched its “Employee Mental Health in 2024” Research Series. The research reveals a concerning landscape where a significant portion of workers face challenges affecting their mental health and productivity at work. 

Approximately half of workers report feeling used up (51%), emotionally drained (45%), or burned out (44%) from their work. Additionally, stress, overwhelm, and anxiety are prevalent feelings among employees, highlighting the urgent need for organizations to address mental health issues proactively.

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month and as part of its ongoing commitment to assess American workplace conditions as they pertain to HR considerations, SHRM is proud to advocate for positive and constructive workplace cultures that protect employees’ mental wellness and promote healthy work-life integration. 

“As we shine a spotlight on the connection between workplaces and mental health this May, SHRM is honored to share its findings on this pivotal relationship,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, President and CEO, SHRM. “Our research underscores the role that mental health plays in employees’ decisions to leave their jobs and establishes a history of employees enduring difficult coworkers and people managers in order to achieve their career goals. We urge all organizations to consider employee mental health as they develop dynamic strategies for talent retention and employee engagement.”

Key Findings:

  • 35% of people say their job has a negative effect on their mental health. Fewer workers reported their job has a neutral or positive effect on their mental health.

  • More than half of workers feel pressured to prioritize organizational well-being over their personal well-being (52%), putting workers in difficult situations where they must decide between protecting their jobs or advancing their careers and their personal well-being. 

  • 50% of workers say they do not feel comfortable using or asking for mental health resources at their organization or business. 

  • At least 1 in 5 workers report they have taken a lower-paying job (34%), pursued a different career (26%), or left a job without having another one lined up (22%) to protect their personal well-being.

  • 33% of people managers say their leadership role is not worth the stress that comes with it. 

  • 40% of people managers said their mental health declined when they entered a managerial or leadership role. 


A sample of 1,405 U.S. workers were surveyed from January 30 to February 1, 2024, using a third-party online panel. All workers were paid employees of an organization. Data is unweighted.

About SHRM

SHRM is a member-driven catalyst for creating better workplaces where people and businesses thrive together. As the trusted authority on all things work, SHRM is the foremost expert, researcher, advocate, and thought leader on issues and innovations impacting today’s evolving workplaces.  With nearly 340,000 members in 180 countries, SHRM touches the lives of more than 362 million workers and their families globally. Discover more at