Pressurised staff say level of wellbeing in their workplace is insufficient

A majority (80 percent) of employees perceive the level of wellbeing within their organisation to be moderate or low and a quarter are struggling to manage the pressures of the workplace, a new survey claims. Although 64 percent believe their overall happiness as happy or very happy two thirds of UK workers admit to coasting or struggling at work, with just 18 percent reporting they’re flourishing, finds the survey published by Barnett Waddingham. Why BWell 2017 also found a third of UK workers admit their job has a negative impact on their mental health, with the same number believing their overall wellbeing is not important to their employer. Moreover, 22 percent say negative attitudes from their managers at work hinder their ability to balance work and family commitments. The survey also looked at employee retention alongside employers’ understanding of staff engagement in the company objectives. Overall 25 percent admitted they couldn’t see themselves working for the same company in five years’ time and 36 percent feel they either didn’t understand their company’s overall strategy or didn’t know if they understood it or not.

Within the report, Barnett Waddingham compare the responses to The UK Wellbeing Index 2017, which contains employer views on wellbeing. There appears to be a disconnect between what organisations say they feel about wellbeing and what employees experience from their employers, with just 21 percent of employees who believe wellbeing is very important to their organisation in comparison to 71 percent of organisations who state this.

Further report highlights:

  • Nine in 10 agree that a happier workplace is more productive
  • 89 percent see the importance of a healthy work life balance
  • 55 percent are unsure or have no certain outlook for retirement
  • There is a notable correlation between older respondents to the survey and those in the higher earning brackets reporting better wellbeing overall

Laura Matthews, workplace wellbeing consultant at Barnett Waddingham, said; ““The term wellbeing continues to be an industry buzzword with many organisations starting to realise the true importance of this.  Strategies are often focused exclusively on health, whereas there are many other factors to be considered such as the culture of a firm, support from line management or even down to where employees are on their financial journey”

Damian Stancombe, partner at Barnett Waddingham, added; “Work should and will become more a symbiotic relationship between employer and employee, with the pursuit of Eudaimonia – happiness and flourishing – within the workplace as key. Sadly, the results from this survey tell me there is a very long way to go before UK workers will feel happy, and as a consequence, productive in the workplace.

“By considering employees’ happiness and workplace wellbeing, employers would reap the benefits of reduced absence and increased productivity. Not by following fad or fashion but by understanding the real issues impacting the workforce, and where possible, actually doing something about them.

“Given the uncertain position the UK now finds itself in, improving productivity I believe becomes ever more fundamental. Indeed, the success of UK public limited companies are dependent on it.”