An employee is working on a laptop at home with a cup of coffee and a pair of glasses on the table.
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Worker wellbeing has ‘taken a dive’ during Covid-19, according to Hays

21 May 2020

A survey of more than 16,000 UK professionals said that worker wellbeing has dropped since coronavirus restrictions were introduced.

New research from recruitment company Hays has revealed that many professionals in the UK are experiencing negative impacts on their wellbeing as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. The company said that wellbeing has “taken a dive” since the UK went into lockdown in March.

In a survey of more than 16,000 UK professionals, carried out in April and May, 61pc rated their wellbeing as positive before restrictions were implemented, and just 35pc said it has stayed that way since. Respondents who referred to their wellbeing negatively rose from 7pc to 23pc during that period.

According to Hays, the biggest challenge identified in the survey was the lack of social interaction, cited by more than a quarter of respondents. This was followed by loneliness (13pc) and boredom (11pc).

In light of the UK’s Mental Health Awareness Week, Hays is calling on employers to consider how working from home is affecting the wellbeing of their staff.

While wellbeing has been a priority for many businesses, 44pc of those surveyed by Hays said that support from their employers has become more important to them since Covid-19 restrictions were put in place, and almost half said work-life balance has become more of a priority while working remotely.

More than three-quarters said that their employer holds a responsibility to look after staff wellbeing. However, 49pc said that their employer has not provided any wellbeing support since restrictions began. For those who said their employers were making efforts, examples of supports included social activities, counselling and training.

Highlighting the importance of staff mental health, Simon Winfield, managing director of Hays UK & Ireland, said: “The wellbeing of staff needs to be a top priority for all organisations as the impact of the virus is felt on our personal and professional lives.

“Everybody will be having different experiences, so it’s important to maintain frequent updates and be as transparent as possible as our way of working continues to change.

“Some of the steps managers can take include regular video updates with their teams, being flexible with schedules and expectations and offering wellbeing training. We can’t replicate the old ways of office life, but we can make sure that better support systems are in place to help our teams through the changes and challenges.”

In Ireland, a recent survey suggested that although there are challenges, many Irish people may want to continue working remotely after Covid-19 restrictions have eased.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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