By Aoibhinn Mc Bride
As rising inflation, war and the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank causes financial stability to slip globally, many organisations are looking for ways to trim their budgets.
After redundancies, workers’ benefits are taking the biggest hit, and from the removal of in-office entitlements such as meals and snacks to a revision of parental leave, health insurance and learning and development budgets, the “perkcession” is well underway.
But are companies shooting themselves in the proverbial foot if they decide to scale back certain benefits that have been proven to increase employee well-being?
Bridging the gap with AI
It’s estimated that approximately 25 per cent of European workers suffer from at least one mental health condition, with anxiety being the most prevalent.
Couple that with the fact that more than half of all working days lost in the EU are down to work-related stress, and it’s clear that skimping on resources that facilitate mental health and well-being isn’t prudent or efficient in the long run.
Is there a way for organisations to not only bridge this gap but bolster their benefits offering to employees?
One approach is being developed by Kintsugi, an AI-powered mental healthcare app developed by Berkeley-based entrepreneurs and engineers Grace Chang and Rima Seiilova-Olson.
The pair have developed software to detect signs of depression and anxiety from just 20 seconds of free-form speech.
Kintsugi is named for the Japanese concept which involves repairing broken ceramics by piecing them back together and fixing them in place with gold enamel.
Its model is language agnostic, using vocal markers that are most predictive of clinical depression and anxiety, irrespective of language, dialect or accent.
To date, the app has been downloaded by around 12,000 users across Europe.
“Mental healthcare became a lot more prevalent in people’s lives during the pandemic and I think employers have given a lot of thought around what sort of solutions can be put there because there’s an obvious shortage of specialists that can address some of these issues,” Chang said.
Tech can improve work outcomes
According to a recent report by Deloitte, 42 per cent of business leaders expect that by 2027, technology which leverages principles from psychology, sociology and behavioural science will help drive better organisational outcomes.
The report also found that more than 90 per cent of business leaders believe that using such technology to improve work outcomes and team performance is important to their organisation’s success.
For 2023, Kintsugi has plans to offer a full end-to-end component, where its AI technology will facilitate diagnosis, as well as a treatment plan.
“We have the ability to potentially transform the field of mental health by giving it some objectivity and measurement, but also this bears a lot of responsibility that we design that in an ethical way; in a way that serves the needs of the patients. It’s a hard line to walk. But it’s something that’s very meaningful––and that’s what matters,” Chang said.
Do you feel like your current employer isn’t committed to implementing better mental healthcare and well-being benefits at work? It could be time to look for a new opportunity.
Euronews.jobs has thousands of roles in companies that prioritise healthcare benefits, like the three below.
IT Project Manager w/m/d, Computacenter
As IT Project Manager for complex IT infrastructure projects, you will support customers in digital transformation, and implement innovative state-of-the-art projects in the field of data centre and cloud computing, mobile workplace, unified communication and collaboration, network and security as well as industry 4.0.
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HelloFresh offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes free access to the Headspace app and biweekly yoga classes. The Berlin-based Senior Data Engineer will collaborate to build a robust and highly performant data platform using cutting-edge technologies.
You will develop distributed services that process data in batch and real-time with a focus on scalability, data quality, and business requirements.
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You’ll also maintain and migrate the existing web portals based on PHP and Laravel and support the front-end development of internal applications. You can apply for this job here.
Thousands more open roles in tech and other industries can be found on Euronews.jobs