Survey reveals ‘toxic stew of worry’ created by pandemic


More than a third (36%) of small business owners say keeping their staff safe during the pandemic is a concern, according to a new poll.

Research conducted by WorkLife, an employee benefits platform, found 32% of organisations said staff were worried about contracting Covid-19 in the workplace.

However, there were several other more pressing worries they had about their employees’ health and wellbeing. Thirty-two per cent said employees were worried about their mental wellbeing; 38% said employees worried about personal finances; 39% said staff were concerned about the health of their loved ones and 42% reported that staff were worried about losing their jobs.

All of these concerns had created a “toxic stew of worry” for employees and business leaders, claimed WorkLife.

Managing director Rob Marshall commented: “Sadly there is no quick fix to end the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. While many people are getting back to work, they are worrying about their commute, safety in the workplace and whether they will still have a job by the end of the year.

“Brits do have a tendency to ‘keep calm and carry on’, but this brings the risk of workers ignoring the stresses and worries that could build up to damage their mental health. Because work is the thing that the majority of adults spend most of their waking hours doing, employers are in a unique position to help their employees with any concerns around their mental health.”

Small organisations appeared willing to help their people better manage their mental wellbeing. The survey found 30% offered employee support such as stress management, while 25% wanted to introduce such support within the next six months.

WorkLife said it had integrated the mental wellbeing app Thrive, which has been approved by the NHS, into its platform.

3 Responses to Survey reveals ‘toxic stew of worry’ created by pandemic

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    Dr Ajay Sati 11 Sep 2020 at 4:50 pm #

    Pandemic times are always tough times. Each person’s mental makeup is different, some can cope the stress better than the other. The three big worries are – fear of getting infected, loss of loved ones and loss of job. There are no easy answers to manage these. Stress management techniques do help but in reality the stressed person may not be in a frame of mind to follow them making them redundant. It is a tough call for both the business owners as well as employees.

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    Ajay Sati 11 Sep 2020 at 6:59 pm #

    During an ongoing pandemic with no end in sight it is not easy for employees to strike a balance and have a stable mind; the fear is always there – of getting infected, losing a loved one to the pandemic or losing the job. At such times it is the mental makeup of the person and past experiences of life that will enable a smooth overcoming of the situation. Stress management techniques although helpful tend to become bookish and lose their significance as employees during stress tend to believe more on fate rather than science. Prior priming of stress management and its proactive practice should help employees overcome the stressful period.

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    Jackie 14 Sep 2020 at 3:36 pm #

    It’s okay for people to feel anxious and worried about the uncertainty the Covid situation has created. It’s not in our control so we feel worried and fearful. But change is always happening and this is just change but at an accelerated timescale. We will come out the other end but things may look and feel different. We have to try to embrace that change and look for the positives where they exist. Rember to smile and say thank you and put a smile on someone else face make their day great and maybe you will get something back in return

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