Wellbeing has plummeted during the Coronavirus lockdown

Workers around the globe are struggling with the lack of social interaction, according to a new survey by recruitment experts, Hays. What can employers do to help with the mental wellbeing of their employees?

A woman wearing a mask, indoors, alone, socially isolated
  • 61% of workers rated their wellbeing positive before lockdown restrictions, dropping to 35% since lockdown has been in place
  • Over a quarter (26%) of professionals report that a lack of social interaction has had the greatest impact on their wellbeing
  • 44% of professionals say having adequate mental health support from their employer has also become more important since lockdown
Wellbeing amongst professionals has taken a dive since lockdown restrictions were enforced in March, according to a new survey by recruiting experts, Hays. As the UK recognises Mental Health Awareness Week, Hays urges employers to consider the effect working remotely in lockdown is having on their staff.From a survey of over 16,200 professionals, close to two thirds (61%) rated their wellbeing as positive before restrictions were put in place, but only 35% said it remained positive since lockdown. Those who rated their wellbeing as negative rose from 7% to 23%.Over a quarter (26%) of workers said a lack of social interaction has been the greatest challenge to their wellbeing, followed by isolation and loneliness (13%) and boredom (11%).

Workers look to employers for more support

Over three-quarters of professionals (77%) say their employer has a responsibility to look after their wellbeing, but half (49%) 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%) also said their employer is offering social activities, followed by counselling (17%) and training (15%).

Work-life balance is a bigger priority since lockdown

For nearly half (45%) of respondents, work-life balance has become more important to them since lockdown, despite 48% 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% of those surveyed.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.”

The survey was carried out between 23rd April – May 4th 2020. The survey received 16,228 responses from both professionals and employers.

Find out more about Health and Wellbeing

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