UK Tech needs a mental health check – Oct 19

On the morning of World Mental Health Day, we launched the Harvey Nash Tech Survey 2020, which found that half of the UK’s tech professionals have been concerned about their mental health due to work, either in the past or right now. This is equivalent to over 600,000 UK tech professionals having had mental health concerns as a result of their work.

When planning and developing themes for this report, we, nor our client, anticipated the scale of this issue, and if we were to rewind three months, we would not have predicted that we would be launching such compelling statistics on mental health. So compelling in fact, that they were carried across many of the UK’s tech titles – and also attracted the attention of the BBC.

Media coverage to date has included news pieces in Computing, Computer Weekly, UK Tech News, Gigabit, Tech Startups, Employer News. We also supplied a comment piece from Albert Ellis (CEO of Harvey Nash) to Computing for the day, and the statistics also prompted Bryan Glick, editor of Computer Weekly to write on the topic in his well-read blog.

The causes of stress?

The Tech Survey itself also found that the single highest cause of stress is being short of staff. This has become a major issue as recently revealed by the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey which found that the UK’s tech industry is experiencing the highest skills shortage for more than a decade, with almost two thirds of CIOs (64%) reporting a shortfall of talent.

Albert Ellis, CEO of Harvey Nash, said in the press release:

No one would pretend that working in the tech sector is a walk in the park, but for it to be pushing over half its workers into a state of mental health concern is a real issue for the sector, and in particular, for those very small companies where a greater proportion of workers report that they are currently affected by stress.

With so much set to change so quickly in the coming years, it’s vital that the tech sector makes itself resilient by looking after its people and giving them the support and flexible tools, they need.”

We’re presently working with the BBC to fulfil their requests on this topic, so we will report back soon and update this article.