Research highlights the importance of dealing with employee stress

New studies on employee well-being and mental health look at how businesses can create a happier workplace environment and why employees and employers need to work together to combat workplace stress.

Research highlights the importance of dealing with employee stress and mental health.
British businesses should pay more attention to their workplace design to improve employee well-being, reveals new research by YouGov. Speaking to more than 2,000 British employees, across three different generations, the YouGov survey – which was commissioned by Oktra, UK’s leading office design and build company – also found that over a quarter (27%) believe a more positive working culture or a better work-life balance would benefit their well-being. The report states that the right working environment can have a positive impact on staff productivity levels and is also a good way to attract new talent. Recognised as a contributing factor to productivity and overall employee retention, well-being is an important consideration when employers are designing a workspace. Nic Pryke, design director at Oktra said, “It can be easy to overlook how the design of an office impacts the people within it. By conducting a thorough assessment of a workspace, we can begin to understand what works and what is holding back, not just the evolution of a business, but the employees’ personal development, too.” YouGov also found that certain aspects of the office environment, such as temperature, lack of natural light and noise levels, are the biggest workplace well-being concerns to British office workers. Owing to the length of the typical working day (often between 7-12 hours), a well-thought-out workplace could help to resolve some of the issues affecting workers' well-being. 

Recognising and improving workplace mental health

The YouGov research ties in with the 2019 Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey, which urges workers in the UK to take a more active role in their colleagues’ mental health, with the research revealing that almost half have spotted signs of stress among their colleagues. Eight in 10 Brits say that their working day is impacted by stressed-out co-workers, but only one in 10 of those stressed colleagues have spoken to a medical professional about it. The Cigna survey found that 83% of people who notice stress amongst colleagues believe this is having an impact on their workplace with morale. The research also revealed that almost half of those surveyed (46%) noticed colleagues suffering from stress, with symptoms including: moodiness (40%), fatigue (23%), crying (21%), and reduced work performance (20%). In spite of this, only 28% of employers have a formal wellness programme in place to support employees. To help combat these issues, Cigna has launched a ‘Put a Face On’ mental health campaign to educate people on the signs and symptoms to look out for in the workplace. Its practical tips aim to help employers and employees spot the signs and encourage a more open culture in addressing mental health issues in the workplace. Phil Austin, chief executive officer at Cigna Europe, commented, “We’re living in an ‘always on’ culture, with stress at an all-time high. It’s evident from our research that employers can do more to empower their staff to support each other.”To learn more, visit: www.cigna.co.ukSubscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory