Manpower Supply
January 21, 2022

How Mental Health Affects Productivity in Blue Collar Workers

One of the many things that are overlooked when it comes to blue-collar manpower is mental health. In general mental health has a significant impact on productivity levels, be it blue or white-collar manpower supply. The recent pandemic outbreak has shown this significance more clearly, where according to Harvard Business Review, companies have reported a drop in productivity levels resulting mainly from mental health issues. Below is a clear breakdown of how this affects the productivity of blue-collar workers. 

Stress And Anxiety 

Poor mental health and stress and anxiety go hand in hand. Blue-collar job roles, in general, require a lot of manual effort, which calls for good physical well-being. Stress and anxiety contribute to sickness in workplaces, resulting in absenteeism. This can easily reduce the number of blue-collar workers available at a worksite to perform tasks, thereby reducing productivity levels. 

In some cases, prolonged sickness resulting from poor mental health can even lead to turnovers. This also affects productivity as employers will have to spend a considerable amount of time replacing employees who left. 

Inability To Multitask 

Blue-collar workers are separated according to the industries they can work in. Examples include plumbing, mechanical, electricity and construction manpower etc. Usually, a blue-collar worker catering to one sector will mostly be rotated among several job roles and tasks, unlike white-collar workers. One of the major drawbacks of facing mental health issues is that it affects a worker’s multi-tasking ability. Employees who are supposed to do a series of tasks may find it challenging to do them efficiently, resulting in reduced productivity levels. 

Loss Of Interest 

Mental health directly influences focus, attention and overall interest. Unlike many other types of work, focus and attention to detail are vital for blue-collar workers as they often present around hazardous work environments like construction sites and deal with electricity, equipment, heavy machinery, etc. 

Besides these, as blue-collar workers need to deliver more physical efforts, their attention and focus in the job are highly crucial for productivity and workplace safety. Blue-collar workers are also allocated a set of tasks or a quota for a given time as part of their contracts. In such a context, when they lose interest it’s not just productivity levels that reduce but even project durations can delay or extend. 

Delays Team Efforts 

Most blue-collar jobs are done as groups or in teams, where a group of people will be assigned a specified task and a time slot to finish them. So even if one or few in a group has to deal with mental health issues, the overall quality of work and efficiency contributed to a team reduces, thereby affecting the overall productivity of a group project. This, in turn, can delay expected outputs, leave deadlines unmet, and even delay the completion of a given project. 

In general blue-collar manpower and the nature of its job roles require a high level of good mental health to perform their work productively. It should also be emphasized that the mental health of blue-collar workers does not influence individual productivity alone but also group efforts in completing a given task within a set timeframe.