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Life satisfaction has dropped sharply over the past year and most people are neglecting their physical health because of work demands.
About 58% of employees told researchers for insurance and finance giant Aviva that they had prioritised work over their physical health – up from 53% from the same survey in February last year. Researchers found 86% of respondents have been checking emails outside of working hours.
However, more employees (61%) agreed their employer was genuinely concerned about their wellbeing, compared with 57% before Covid struck. Employees were also now more likely to feel their employer understands what motivates them – 44% against 36% in August.
Meanwhile the proportion of employees who were completely satisfied with life had dropped by 10 percentage points, falling from 67% in February 2020.
The central thrust of the report – called Thriving in the Age of Ambiguity – was that while the blurring of work-life boundaries has brought welcome flexibility for many, the “increasingly ambiguous relationship between employers and employees” was a powerful source of unease and uncertainty. This had seen growing strain develop on people’s balance between work and home life, employment and retirement.
The number of employees who reported feeling anxious from day-to-day had increased from 22% in August 2020 to 27% in March 2021.
This was particularly the case among female workers (35%