EMBRACE: Employee Mental Wellbeing and productivity boost
What is the project about?
The increasing prevalence of mental health issues in the workplace is a big challenge, with estimated costs exceeding 4% of Europe's GDP, surpassing €600 billion each year (OECD/EU, 2018). Likewise, a recent study by The Danish National Research Center for Work Environment (November, 2023) estimates, that costs related to stress in the workplace each year costs Danish employers at least 16,4 billion a year.
For pension and insurance companies mental health issues at the workplace is also a big challenge business wise, due to the number of claims and the severity of the cases. Therefore, effective means to address employee well-being and reduce sick days would have a significant impact not only for the employees who are struggling with mental health issues but also for the financial industry and society as a whole. Companies however struggle to find cost-effective methods due to a lack of economic analysis of interventions.
The EMBRACE Project
The Danish tech company, HOWDY.care, has developed an innovative digital intervention to enhance employee well-being and reduce sick days. Initial tests are promising, but further research is needed to assess effectiveness and financial impact. Together with Copenhagen University, DSV and potentially more companies within finance, the project partners aim to not only shed light on the economic implications of promoting mental well-being but also paves the way for effective digital health interventions, influencing policies and practices across sectors for economic prosperity.
The EMBRACE project thus aims to bridge health-tech and fintech, offering potential benefits for insurance and pension fund companies by reducing claims and treatment sessions.
During the project period the partners will employ predictive analytics to create machine learning models that can predict the likelihood an employee might increase or decrease their well-being levels and its relationship with productivity costs (sick-days leaves). This will hopefully lead to provide real data-based analysis to stakeholders by continuously monitoring employees’ wellbeing and providing preventive actions within a company.
Ziggi Santini, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Psychology