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Pandemic working leaves 1 in 4 needing mental health support

The COVID-19 pandemic has left UK workers unhappy in their jobs and in need of support for their mental wellbeing in the year ahead, according to new research from reward and benefits provider Edenred.

The study of 2,000 UK employees found that as nearly two thirds of employees (64%) worked from home in the last 12 months – double the level reported at the beginning of 2020 – a similar number (61%) worked outside of their normal hours.

As a result of the pandemic, employees reported a fall in job satisfaction (35%), concerns about job security (31%) and dissatisfaction in their work-life balance (27%).

The fall in satisfaction comes despite the majority of employees (81%) saying their organisation did a good job of supporting them in the last year.

Employees said that whilst they were satisfied with the support given for managing work-life balance (73%), collaborative working (72%) and physical wellbeing (71%), they needed support in different ways in the year ahead.

One in four employees wanted help with mental wellbeing and roughly one in five (17%) need help in adjusting to a return to the office. Employers were seen to be falling short in reward (32%) and recognition (21%) for their staff’s work through the pandemic.

The study found that HR policy and employee benefits were out of step with what employees needed for their new working patters, with barely half saying their employer was doing well in these areas (56% and 58% respectively).

Alisdair Seenan, HR Director at Edenred UK said:

“The coming weeks are a critical period for employers who want to ensure their people and their organisations are in the best place to thrive as we emerge from lockdown.

Having done a good job of getting our people through the last 12 months, we now need to act fast to ensure that whatever model of working your organisation embraces, you have the right policy, working practices and tools to meet the changing needs of your people.

With our research finding that 29% of employees feel more positive about their organisation as a result of actions they took in the past year and 24% saying they were more likely to go the extra mile, it is clear that employers who invest in supporting their people will be rewarded with engaged and motivated teams.”

Employers can download our newly published report today – “Power up your people: Your blueprint for peak performance in 2021” – to see the full research findings and advice on key actions to take. Click here to get your copy

Image by Kian Hall from Pixabay 

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