Wellbeing nosedives as people miss interactions with colleagues

wellbeingWellbeing amongst professionals has taken a dive since lockdown restrictions were enforced in March, according to a new survey by recruiting firm Hays.  From a survey of over 16,200 professionals, close to two thirds (61 percent) rated their wellbeing as positive before restrictions were put in place, but only 35 percent said it remained positive since lockdown. Those who rated their wellbeing as negative rose from 7 percent to 23 percent.

Over a quarter (26 percent) of workers said a lack of social interaction has been the greatest challenge to their wellbeing, followed by isolation and loneliness (13 percent) and boredom (11 percent). Over three-quarters of professionals (77 percent) say their employer has a responsibility to look after their wellbeing, but half (49 percent) state that their employer hasn’t provided any wellbeing support during the lockdown.

Of those who said their employer was providing support, a fifth (20 percent) also said their employer is offering social activities, followed by counselling (17 percent) and training (15 percent). For nearly half (45 percent) of respondents, work-life balance has become more important to them since lockdown, despite 48 percent rating their work-life balance as average or poor. Having adequate mental health support from their employer has also become more important since being in lockdown, according to 44 percent of those surveyed.

As the UK recognises Mental Health Awareness Week, Hays urges employers to consider the effect working remotely in lockdown is having on their staff. Simon Winfield, Managing Director of Hays UK & Ireland, commented: “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 your teams through the changes and challenges.”

Image: Dominic Robinson, Creative Commons via Wikimedia