GetApp UK has found in its recent study that since the start of the pandemic, employee mental health has diminished by 14% points. GetApp’s study surveyed over 1000 employees to understand better the pandemic’s long-term effects on employees’ mental health.
The study reveals that 66% of employees reported good or excellent mental health in pre-pandemic times. Amid the pandemic, this reached an all-time low of 42%, demonstrating a 24% point drop since before the pandemic hit. In February 2022, this had risen to 52% but remained lower than the original 66% reported pre-March 2020.
This data exhibits how the detrimental impacts the covid outbreak caused on employees’ mental health still prevail in UK businesses today.
Workplace stress and its effects
Stress can cause or heighten existing mental health issues. GetApp’s study reveals that 22% believe they are more stressed at work compared to last year. 40% blamed the increasing workload as their main source of stress.
21% blamed their heightened stress levels on the lack of help and support provided by their manager. While 19% encountered stress from balancing their home and personal lives, another 19% blamed their increasing stress levels on their fear of catching Covid-19.
Therefore, although Covid did play a part in amplifying employees’ stress levels, it was primarily general work-related issues that caused the most tension.
According to the study, the most common mental health symptoms caused by workplace stress include sleeping problems (31%), followed by consistent worrying (28%) and difficulty concentrating (24%).
The effect of remote working
The Covid-19 outbreak has reshaped working life in many different ways- some positive, some negative. Pre covid, 76% of respondents worked solely on-site, while 9% had a hybrid work arrangement. Compared to now, 58% work on-site exclusively, and 22% work according to the hybrid model.
The positive changes brought about by this new working model include flexible working hours, which improved by 30%. Additionally, 29% of respondents reported improvements to their work-life balance.
Working remotely was voted the most valuable company-offered mental health resource by SME employees.
However, despite this, job satisfaction and motivation saw the sharpest decrease, at 24% and 26% respectively. Connection to company culture (23%) and coworker collaboration (22%) were also factors that suffered at the hands of the pandemic. This could be partly explained by the social distancing rules in place at the time, further isolating colleagues from one another.
David Jani, the content analyst at GetApp UK, comments: ‘The results from GetApp’s recent study on mental health in the workplace have revealed that it’s not just the pandemic that has affected staff well-being, although it has become a major factor.’
‘Around a fifth of our respondents claimed they experienced stress from the fear of catching Covid at work. Yet it was common issues such as lack of managerial support (affecting 21%) and increased workload (40%), which influenced negative mental health the most. However, these factors combined have contributed to the quite dramatic drop of 14% points in positive mental health that exists as of February 2022.’
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