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The Wellness At Work Report 2022

Wellness at work UK front cover

When you think about the human experience in 2022, what comes to mind?

We’ll guess that Covid-19 is the first thing that appears, and the strange almost-post- pandemic period we’ve just entered as the last restrictions lift across the UK. Many are feeling an unnerving mix of uncertainty, concern and relief as we enter this next stage. We’re glad to be moving forward, but what’s ahead of us remains unclear.

The rising cost of living and inflation are also impacting our day-to-day lives. Prices of everyday items and services are rising at the fastest rate in 30 years. According to the BBC, in the 12 months to January 2022, prices rose at an average of 5.5%; which can be attributed to factors like the rising costs of energy and continuing staff shortages.

Let’s not forget the worldwide phenomenon of the Great Resignation. Our Employee Movement and Retention survey from September 2021 signalled that 55% of British workers would be looking for a new role within the next 12 months. Employees are questioning the type of work they’re doing, and thinking about how they can seek fulfilment in their professional lives.

These events are influencing your employees in a major way. They can significantly impact a sense of wellbeing, which can seep into every part of life – including work.

What’s in the report?

  • We cast our minds back to 2021
  • The seven dimensions of wellness
  • The key findings
  • Mental health and the pandemic
  • Career health and the Great Resignation
  • Financial health and a fluctuating market
  • Are we supporting working parents?
  • The big picture on employee health
  • Survey demographics and methodology
Wellness at work UK front cover

The Wellness at Work Report’s key findings

KEY LEARNING: Employees are loyal to workplaces that care about wellness

We knew that employers liked to witness returns on their investments, particularly in the case of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). It was crucial to ensure that the efforts invested were justified.

The signs were evident, as we discovered that employees who had rated their employer’s commitment to wellness as good or excellent were 75% more likely to exhibit loyalty towards a business. This could potentially lead to significant savings in turnover costs and could have a substantial impact on the growth of a company.

The majority of UK workers were struggling with burnout

When it came to mental health, burnout spread like wildfire across the working population. Workers had been feeling this sense of extreme fatigue recently, with 54% signalling that it had affected them over the past three months (November-January). Only 29% were certain that they felt no sense of burnout from their work.

The pandemic had many employees questioning their careers

Forty percent of workers agreed that Covid-19 had decreased the importance they placed on their careers. Aligned with the phenomenon of the Great Resignation, this signalled that more workers than ever could have been seeking a change, an industry swap, or a transition to different working models. As the switch to remote working had occurred, many were attempting to contemplate how work could fit around their lives, instead of how their lives could support their work.

Most workers were stressed about finances

Whether it was due to a loss of work, the uncertainty of the pandemic, or soaring inflation, British employees were worried about their finances. A staggering 59% stated that they were stressed about money. Women were particularly affected, with 64% of them (compared to 54% of men) expressing concern about their financial situation.

The big picture on employee health

Throughout this report, we’ve mostly explored the negative experiences of employee wellbeing. By uncovering these issues, we hope to help businesses better care for their teams and create better workplaces.

As we said at the beginning of this report, however, in 2022 we need to take the good with the bad. When we zoom out to a general view of workplace wellness, it’s clear that businesses are moving in the right direction, even if there still is plenty of progress to be made.

What’s encouraging is that 47% of employees rated their employer’s commitment to improving overall wellbeing as good, while only 16% rated it as poor.

In each area of focus, we can see similar trends. There are encouraging numbers around business’ wellness commitment, but there are still significant numbers of average and poor employer performance.

Future-thinking employers know that for a peak performing team, employee wellbeing has to be above average. High-growth and resilient businesses are created by healthy and inspired employees, who are given the environment to do their best work. The data in this report confirms that these teams are more likely to be productive, present and loyal.

Report survey demographics and methodology

The findings in this report have been determined from a survey organised by Employment Hero.

The 9-minute online quantitative survey was deployed using the Glow Survey platform, and survey responses were collected from the national research panel Dynata.

To complete the survey respondents had to be employed in any capacity (full time, part-time, casual) and not own the business they worked in.

The survey was deployed using nationally representative quotas for age, gender and location, but no active quotas were placed on the number of completed surveys.

In total, there were 2,056 survey participants. There were 838 working parents surveyed, making up 41% of the overall sample.

The survey was collecting responses between the 1st of February 2022 and the 6th of February 2022.

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