Younger staff want employers to put more emphasis on health and wellbeing

Six in 10 younger workers think their current working conditions have an adverse effect on their health and wellbeing, highlighting the need for employers to consider the benefits packages they offer younger staff.

A survey of 1,002 people by soft drinks manufacturer Lucozade Ribena Suntory discovered that there is a generational divide surrounding attitudes to wellbeing at work and the effect their job has on their overall health.

Forty per cent of those aged 18-24 thought an organisation’s health and wellbeing benefits were a “very important” factor in deciding whether to take a job, compared with 29% across the entire workforce. By contrast, only 19% of those aged over 55 said it was a very important part of their decision.

While the survey found that 61% of those aged 18-24 felt their work was having an adverse effect on their health and wellbeing, only 34% of over-55s thought the same.

Just 35% of younger workers felt they were responsible for their own health and wellbeing at work, versus 64% of those over 55.

Tracy Clarke, HR director at Lucozade Ribena Suntory, said: “Our research shows that priorities are shifting, with employees aged between 18-24, in particular, wanting their employers to put more emphasis on their health and wellbeing.”

Women in particular felt they were put under too much pressure in their current role (41% compared with 29% of men).

Workers in the East Midlands were the least content with their work, with only 29% of respondents from this region answering “no” when asked whether their working conditions had a negative impact on their health. Those in the South East were the most content, with 48% answering “no” to the same question.

Employees in the West Midlands were the most likely to take time off work for a wellbeing concern (37% compared with an UK average of 28%), while those in Scotland were the least likely to take time away for a condition that had developed because of their work (18%).

Lucozade Ribena Suntory published the findings alongside a report on what it is doing to improve the health and wellbeing of its own employees, which it hopes will act as an example to other organisations of what can be done. Initiatives include mindfulness and resilience training, meditation classes, improved access to occupational health and walking meetings.

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