Employers urged to focus on ‘job quality and wellbeing’

Around 30% of respondents to a YouGov survey said work had a negative impact on their mental health.

Employers are being urged to focus on job quality and worker wellbeing as lockdown eases after a survey found a quarter of Scots attribute health problems to work.

Some 30% of respondents to the YouGov survey for CIPD Scotland, the professional body for human resources and people development, said work has a negative impact on their mental health, while 25% said it has worsened their physical health.

A total of 1078 working adults in Scotland were surveyed for the CIPD’s Working Lives Scotland report between January 8 and February 4 this year and report author Marek Zemanik warned the situation has deteriorated since.

The survey found more than a quarter (26%) of employees find it hard to relax in their personal life because of their job.

More than half of those who reported experiencing depression said work is a contributing factor, rising to two-thirds for those who have had anxiety in the past year.

The report highlights presenteeism as a core problem as more than half of employees reported going to work despite not feeling well enough, rising to 63% among those with disabilities.

Around two-thirds of employees reported some level of overwork while more than a third said their normal weekly workloads are too high.

Just under a quarter always or often feel exhausted at work, 22% said they feel under excessive pressure and 13% said they feel bored and miserable.

But more than half said they are enthusiastic about their job and the report also found good correlation between flexible working and job satisfaction.

Mr Zemanik, CIPD Scotland senior public policy adviser, said: “The survey was conducted before the coronavirus outbreak and we know that some of the measures around well-being and job security have already deteriorated since the pandemic, making it imperative for employers to take action on some of the findings in the report.

“We need to ensure that job quality and fair working practices are at the heart of Scotland’s economic recovery.”

Lee Ann Panglea, head of CIPD Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “Job quality and the idea of good work is fundamental to wellbeing, and supporting a fairer society with motivated workers, productive organisations and a strong economy.

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