Utmaningen - en film om den sjuka jobbstressen
The Challenge – how workplace stress is making people ill
Many people are affected, know someone who is affected, or are at risk. So we produced a documentary entitled The Challenge – how workplace stress is making people ill.
The film offers several perspectives on mental health issues in the workplace. We meet real people – living, breathing human beings – and hear their painful stories. We can see ourselves in them, whether as employees or as bosses. Their stories are interwoven with comments from occupational health experts and authorities.
The film is produced in the form of a well-made documentary and promoted as such through all the appropriate media: trailers, advertisements and billboards.
We aim to reach employers, but the way to do so is by addressing the general public. In this way, we are confronting both employers and employees with the problem, creating awareness and pressure for change on organisations and their leaders.
It is unacceptable that work is making people ill. Together, we can do something about the problem. We all share responsibility for it.
Stress-related mental health issues in the workplace (“burnout”) are a large and fast-growing social problem worldwide, and not just in Sweden. As people struggle to cope with these issues, their health and wellbeing suffer, while the costs to Swedish society and business run into the billions of kronor annually.
The government has asked the Swedish Work Environment Authority to tackle the problem. In March 2016, new regulations governing working hours, workload and workplace victimisation were introduced – setting a new standard for such regulations from an international perspective.
Ahead of the new regulations, the Swedish Work Environment Authority mounted a large-scale public information campaign. The main plank of the campaign was a short documentary film designed to raise awareness of the problem, promote the new regulations and reverse the negative trend.
Our key insights were as follows:
Mental health issues in the workplace have become “the norm” and are to be “expected” in a labour market characterised by lean organisations, a 24-hour society, poor work-life balance and precarious short-term employment.
It has become a vicious circle. Many employers lack effective tools for taking preventive action, reacting only when it is too late. Meanwhile, motivated by a strong sense of duty, employees are taking responsibility for the problem – “keeping quiet” and getting on with their job.
Mental health issues are a taboo subject. It is easier to talk about a physical injury sustained at work than about work-related mental health issues.
There is a wider social aspect to the problem. Work-related mental health issues have repercussions for every employee and every employer in Sweden. This affects our everyday lives and the functioning of society.
Although mental health issues have become normalised, they remain a taboo subject. We therefore needed to devise an information campaign that would get the conversation started in the workplace, and above all between employees and employers. We did not want to point fingers or make anyone a scapegoat, but rather to show that everyone – employers and employees alike – shares responsibility, and that mental health issues in the workplace are a social problem with implications for every member of the public.
The goal of our information campaign and the film is to raise public awareness of the problem and show that society is doing something about it. We want to be the catalyst that gets people talking about how to prevent mental health issues in the workplace.
We therefore chose to target our information campaign at the general public. By confronting both employers and employees with the problem, this approach created pressure for change on organisations and their leaders.
Effects of the campaign
• Awareness of the new regulations increased by 80% among employers, the main target audience. 150,000 employers, collectively employing 3.5 million people, are now aware of the new rules.
• 220,000 unique viewings of the film, lasting on average 5 minutes.
• Some 200,000 downloads of and orders for the regulations.
• Featured 700 times in the media over the duration of the campaign.
• 380,000 viewings of the trailer.
• 30,000 Facebook engagements.
• 35,000 employers, collectively employing 1.5 million people, have taken action as a result of the campaign.
Winner of the following awards in SPINN 2016, Sweden’s biggest PR competition: Silver – Public service communication of the year, Silver – B2B communication of the year
Peter Myndes Backe 8
104 62 Stockholm
Peter Myndes Backe 8
104 62 Stockholm