80% of staff have health and wellbeing worries

Polling by Group Risk Development (Grid), the industry body for the group risk sector, has revealed a massive four in five employees report having health and wellbeing concerns.

The research was compiled to coincide with the start of the UK’s Mental health awareness week (10 – 16 May), and revealed 79% currently have wellbeing problems, with stress and anxiety by far the biggest issue, with 62% reporting this.

Drilling down deeper, it asked what the causes of employees’ stress was, and the biggest contributor was Covid-19 (Coronavirus). It found 21% of those polled said stress and anxiety had risen as a direct result of the pandemic.

The second largest contributing factor was related to work (12%); followed by finances being impacted by the pandemic (10%), as well as difficulties in their home lives, and finances in general coming next at 10% and 8% respectively.

As well as suffering from stress, the research also revealed that general lack of fitness had become a concern for staff, due to over-working and adopting at at-home sedentary lifestyle. Some 14% of respondents reported this.

It also revealed 10% of employees are having problems sleeping.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for Grid, said that the results show health and wellbeing worries may have been exacerbated due to the boundaries between work life and home life becoming blurred during the past year.

Moxham said: “When employees work from home, it’s easy for them to switch on a laptop to ‘stay on top of their inbox’ or ‘get ahead for the next day’. But, because there are only so many hours in the day, the time for family, home admin/chores, relaxation activities or sleep all get reduced as a result.

“Stress and anxiety can seriously hinder people’s ability to function in everyday situations let alone in a demanding and often pressurised work environment.”

She added: “Health and wellbeing concerns often start as minor issues that, if left unchecked, become bigger burdens. Unfortunately, the pandemic has meant that many employees’ lives are more complex and they have much more on their plate from both a personal and professional point of view.”