More employees felt positive than negative in April, despite lockdown

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There were more employees who felt mentally and emotionally positive during April than felt negative, despite the coronavirus restrictions imposed upon them.

This is according to employee engagement survey firm Inpulse, which found 55% of 2,364 employees polled last month said they felt hopeful, committed, focused, motivated, happy and valued.

Reasons for this positivity included employees being given the time and space to learn new skills, having the ability to focus on giving their best to their employer, and enjoying the contribution they were making to their organisations.

However, 45% – still a large proportion – admitted to feeling anxious, stressed, isolated, bored, unappreciated and sad.

These feelings were mainly driven by fears about job security, having higher workload than before lockdown and concerns about their general wellbeing. Having to balance working, childcare and home-schooling was a concern for many.

There was a 50% increase in the number of people reporting they felt anxious or stressed. Thirteen per cent said they experienced anxiety in April, while 10% felt stressed.

“The pandemic has not only isolated us, it’s divided us – between those employees who are adjusting to our new circumstances and those who are finding it difficult to manage with very understandable concerns,” said Matt Stephens, Inpulse CEO.

“When it comes to supportive wellbeing programmes, companies must ensure they don’t overwhelm employees with content but focus on information relevant to individuals’ specific needs that can help support their resilience and help them manage their emotions and thoughts.

“How leaders respond to this modern-day crisis is also determining the welfare of their teams – they need to influence the ability of their people to keep going and stay motivated under very difficult circumstances.”

The survey also found that:

  • Forty per cent of workers felt nervous, anxious or on edge for at least several days to every day throughout April
  • Fifty per cent have had at least several days to everyday not being able to stop or control worrying
  • Sixty-eight per cent felt down, depressed, or hopeless for least several days to everyday
  • Twenty per cent felt highly negative about their financial security
  • Nineteen per cent felt highly negative about whether they had a physically healthy lifestyle (including getting seven to eight hours sleep per night, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet).
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