Workers ‘rate wellbeing poorly since lockdown began’

A lack of social interaction was rated as having the greatest impact on worker wellbeing, according to Hays Recruitment.

Less than 35% of workers in Scotland have rated their wellbeing as positive since lockdown began.

According to a new survey by Hays Recruitment, pre-lockdown, 66% of workers had said their wellbeing was positive. This has dropped to just 34% since the start of lockdown.

The survey of 1150 professionals also showed that those who rated their wellbeing as negative rose from 6% to 23% since the start of lockdown.

A lack of social interaction was rated as having the greatest impact on worker wellbeing (26%), followed by isolation and loneliness (13%), and boredom (11%). Juggling the demands of childcare (11%) and an increase in workload (9%) were also contributing factors.

Akash Marwaha, Hays managing director for Scotland, said that now would be a good time for employers to review worker policies.

He added: “Over three-quarters of professionals who responded to the survey believe that their employer has a responsibility to look after their wellbeing, but this doesn’t seem to be happening during the lockdown.

“Because the virus is having such a major impact on working lives, in so many different ways, the wellbeing of staff needs to be a top priority.

“We know that restrictions are likely to continue for some time to come with only very slow changes. Embedding good mental health working practices now would be a worthwhile way of ensuring that they continue after lockdown.”

While Mr Marwaha knows that many businesses are focused on surviving the financial impact of Covid-19, mental health of workers should also be a priority.

Some of the suggested steps included regular video updates with their teams, being flexible with schedules and expectations, and offering counselling and wellbeing training.

Mr Marwaha said: “The old ways of office life and working are unlikely to return for a long time, if at all. We need to start changing our workplace mindset, both physically and mentally.”

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