Mental Health Week: UK Workforce Under Pressure

Feeling work related stress or anxiety? Well, according to recent findings you’re not alone.

As mental health awareness week began, Zurich UK made a stir with their report which showed an increase in demand for counselling from UK workers. Zurich’s Employee Assistance Programme reported a 50% year-on-year increase in the number of calls asking for support. Anxiety and Job Stress are attributed as the most common struggles, as well as the main reason for workplace absences last year. Zurich isn’t the only company to find evidence of a trend of wellbeing deterioration; research by Willis Towers Watson found that only 37% of UK employee’s reported good emotional wellbeing. So why have people felt unsupported over the last couple of years? How worried should employers be?

The pandemic may be the obvious culprit in causing stress and anxiety. I’m sure we can all relate to this in one way or another as 2020 and 2021 was tough for most. COVID’s impact was non-discriminate and affected all aspects of well-being – physically, financially, socially and emotionally. But does that mean we should treat these findings as an anomaly now that COVID’s impact is slowly becoming more manageable? Arguably not…

The effect of COVID goes beyond wellbeing, as the working world looks a lot different now than two years ago. Deloitte found that 37% of employees think more about mental health issues in the workplace now than in 2020, and 61% of people who left their job in 2021 cited mental health as the main reason. The pandemic has created a workforce that prioritises lifestyle and wellbeing more than ever before. In a job market where companies are competing for talent, employers who create a supportive environment are the ones winning by both keeping employees happy and attracting the best candidates.

So how can you ensure that you’re supporting employees to the best of your ability?  There are a few ways to make the well-being of employees a priority, the CIPD recommends:

  • developing managers skills
  • signposting to support
  • offer flexible working
  • a wellbeing policy

Check out our webinar episode on wellbeing here to for tips and tricks on coping with stress with Louisa Thomas of Incredible You Transformative Coaching.

If you would like support with your wellbeing policies and procedures then don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of us here at mpm legal.