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Employee presenteeism and mental health key issues of the day

New research has revealed that employee presenteeism and mental health issues are the two biggest challenges facing UK business today – https://www.aviva.co.uk/business/business-perspectives/featured-articles-hub/working-life-and-wellbeing/.

The pandemic prompted – or forced – many more businesses to adopt a remote workforce model. The Aviva study shows that in this time, employees have re-examined their values, goals, and behaviours, and it has thrown many businesses into disarray as ’employee drift’ has become commonplace.

Key report findings;

  • More than half of employees (52%) agree the boundaries between work and home life are becoming increasingly blurred, up 12% since February.
  • Almost a quarter (24%) are troubled by work interfering with their home and personal life.
  • Just 15% of employees agree that their employer is trying really hard to understand what motivates them and less than half (42%) believe their goals and objectives are clear, leading to ‘employee drift’.
  • Two of the biggest issues facing employers are mental health issues and presenteeism.

Working life and wellbeing in the ‘new normal’

49% of the UK workforce is now working from home and whilst 53% prefer it over going into the office, 1 in 3 are neglecting their own mental health because of being too busy with work.

The research also finds employees are feeling more disillusioned with life and lacking an immediate sense of direction with their jobs. In August, only around one quarter (27%) agreed that they ‘really enjoy’ their work (vs. 34% in February). 43% ranked their mental health between ‘very bad’ and ‘fair’ (vs. 38% in February). Staggeringly, 84% had taken zero sick days over a three-month period.

That being said, they are more likely to agree that their employer is working quite hard to provide training or tools to help them with their mental wellbeing (55% vs. 38% in February) and that they are creating the right atmosphere for people to flourish (45% vs. 38% in February).

Shifting employee-employer relationships

In this newfound ‘Age of Ambiguity’, the studies show that employees are increasingly ‘plodding’ through. They seek work-life balance, clear career progression and help with financial wellbeing and retirement planning. Failure to tune in to these needs and adopt a personalised approach will mean sacrificing productivity and losing valuable ground to competitors.

Employer considerations;

  • Create a sense of purpose, clarity and autonomy in the workplace.
  • Prepare workers for fuller working lives and the transition from work to retirement.
  • Create more targeted interventions by understanding personality types.
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