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New platform to tackle workplace absenteeism due to mental health

New research by the ONS has found that long-term sickness or disability could be the main cause of economic inactivity in the UK, increasing by 462,000 people between 2019 and 2022.

Mental ill health appears to play a significant role in why Brits are taking time off work with the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) unveiling last year that six in 10 people who are not in work due to poor health suffer from a mental health issue. Rethinkly, a virtual world platform using visualisation to fix mental health and workplace issues, has recently launched to address wellbeing problems at work.

Considering 81 per cent of employees feel like miscommunication is common in the workplace, and 1-in-3 feel they can’t show their true feelings in this setting, Rethinkly uses a virtual world to help people express themselves without fear of judgement. This prevents the build-up of negative emotions that can spiral and cause staff members to reach breaking point. The platform is set to transform how managers, therapists, life coaches, and others can resolve workplace and mental health challenges, leveraging real-world experiences, in the context of virtual freedom.

Users can create avatars that can express emotion and gestures, enabling enough detachment for reflection and transparent communication. By utilising a virtual world, the platform reframes problem-solving and communication in the workplace and beyond, in scenarios where people may feel uncomfortable to say express their feelings or opinions out loud.

Crucially, the software can either be used under expert direction, which may be appropriate for particularly complex issues including the mental health sector. Users can be taught how to use the software within minutes, making it a scalable solution, especially for teams within businesses. Research on the use of VR in these settings is constantly evolving, and Rethinkly uses a combination of insight from practitioners, academia, and case studies leading to one of the most sophisticated tools for addressing communication issues worldwide.

Andrew Jackson, co-founder of Rethinkly said, “work has a huge impact on our wellbeing which underpins the culture, the relationships, and the way work gets done. Ambitious organisations understand their role in actively addressing employee wellbeing and the opportunity for their businesses.

“Consider as well how much organisations spend on health insurance and sick leave payments, versus how much they spend helping employees to communicate better and build better relationships. Turning the equation around will help to improve the bottom line. With better communication and more reflection business can expect to see a direct positive impact.”

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