Nearly half (45%) of UK workers feel their mental health is suffering because of being given increased responsibilities during the pandemic, longer working hours and growing job insecurity.
The poll by the ADP Research Institute found 32% of workers felt their responsibilities had increased as a result of the pandemic and more than a quarter (27%) were now working a longer day.
More than a fifth (22%) were worried about their job security, and nearly a quarter (23%) were experiencing difficulties with technology.
More positively, most employers (78%) were being proactive about finding new ways to support the mental health of their workforce, the survey concluded.
A fifth (20%) were now granting employees the right to disconnect after working hours and 17% were offering access to counselling.
Six in 10 workers (64%) said they felt supported by their managers when it came to mental health at work, with the same percentage saying the same about their colleagues.
Other popular support initiatives included checking in or communicating with employees more (31% of workers said their employers were doing so), allowing wellbeing days off (21%), and providing stress management breaks such as access to a ‘zen room’, wellbeing activities or meditation classes, or letting staff take additional breaks during the day (19%).
Long hours and mental ill health
Sirsha Haldar, general manager at ADP UK, Ireland and South Africa, said of the findings: “The last few years have put individuals – and the quality of the work they do – under more intense pressure than ever. Even the most enlightened employers must remain vigilant about this health crisis within a health crisis.
“Whether staff are working from home or on the premises, it’s vital that managers can spot when someone is not coping with stress or getting swamped by their workload or pick up on other problems so team members can be offered help in a sensitive and timely manner,” he added.
Leaders failing to set wellbeing goals
Separately, business leaders are putting themselves and their employees at risk of burnout by failing to set proper wellbeing goals, a study has warned.
The research by King’s College, London, and burnout prevention consultancy Softer Success has highlighted that neglecting self-care can often lead to poor wellbeing. Extended periods of uncertain or poor business outcomes can also push people into negative wellbeing spirals, it warned.
Professor Michael Clinton, professor of work psychology at King’s, said: “Wellbeing is a crucial resource for work and business. It’s therefore important that business leaders think more strategically and scientifically measure wellbeing and the risk of burnout amongst their employees.”