Working life and wellbeing in the ‘new normal’
By Sarah Wood
Nearly half (49 per cent) of the UK workforce is now working from home and whilst 53 per cent prefer it over going into the office, one in three are neglecting their own mental health, according to new research.
The research by Aviva also found that employees are feeling more disillusioned with life and lacking an immediate sense of direction with their jobs.
In August 2020, just over a quarter (27 per cent) agreed that they 'really enjoy' their work (compared to 34 per cent in February). Forty-three per cent of workers ranked their mental health between 'very bad' and 'fair' (compared to 38 per cent in February). Despite this, 84 per cent hadn't taken any sick days over a three-month period.
However, employees said they are more likely to agree that their employer is working quite hard to provide training or tools to help them with their mental wellbeing (55 per cent compared to 38 per cent in February) and that they are creating the right atmosphere for people to flourish (45 per cent compared to 38 per cent in February).
In these strange times, the studies show that employees are increasingly 'plodding' through work and life. They are seeking work-life balance, clear career progression and help with financial wellbeing and retirement planning.
According to Aviva, for an employer, failure to tune in to these needs and adopt a personalised approach will mean sacrificing productivity and losing valuable ground to competitors.
Employers should consider:
- Creating a sense of purpose, clarity and autonomy in the workplace
- Preparing workers for fuller working lives and the transition from work to retirement.
- Creating more targeted interventions for staff by understanding personality types
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