A third of employees are worried about their mental health whilst working from home

Contributed by Aetna International, 24 November, 2020

In a recent survey of 4,000 office-based employees and 1,000 employers in the UK, U.S, Singapore and the UAE, a third of employees expressed concern for their mental health whilst working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research, conducted by international health benefits provider, Aetna International, examines the perceptions of both employers and employees when it comes to corporate health and well-being.

With many employees across the globe working from home for the foreseeable future, the study reveals which health concerns workers are struggling with the most as well as the many different pressures affecting their performance. As employees look to overcome the hurdles associated with remote working and the pandemic, the results of the survey highlight the crucial areas where employers need to improve their practices in order to help workers face these new challenges.

The top health concerns for remote workers

Many employees believe that remote working is having serious effects on their health and well-being:

Employers also expressed concern for employee well-being with 40% agreeing that they are worried the lack of social interaction with colleagues will have a long-term negative impact on some of their employees' mental health

The increasing importance of physical and mental health

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, the majority of employees are placing a greater emphasis on their health and well-being:

Interestingly, employees in the UK have the most conservative views about the value of employer-provided benefits to support workers' mental and physical health:

How remote working is affecting employee performance

When asked about the different ways everyday life and work-related pressures have impacted their performance at work since the outbreak of COVID-19, employees revealed that factors associated with the pandemic have had an increasingly negative effect:

Younger employees admitted that their work is suffering on an even larger scale whilst working from home during the pandemic:

Small vs big businesses

Employees working for small businesses (those with under 200 employees) are experiencing increased stress whilst working from home compared to those employees working for the biggest businesses (those with over 5,000 employees):

Returning to the office

With pressures such as home-schooling children, social isolation and increased working hours having significant effects on employee stress levels, it is no surprise that the majority of workers expressed an eagerness to return to normality:

Despite this, concerns about catching COVID-19 jump from 16% to 48% when working in the office as opposed to working from home.

Dr Hemal Desai, Global Medical Director, Aetna International, said:

"The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives, particularly employment conditions and our day-to-day working practices. With many employees suffering from some form of mental and physical health issues whilst working from home, our findings serve as a reminder to employers that there is much to be done when it comes to protecting their workers' well-being.

As restrictions continue across the globe, pressures facing employees will have a cumulative effect and continue to escalate. Forward-thinking organisations are seizing this opportunity to better understand the differing needs across their workforce and provide relevant health care services alongside tailored health and well-being benefits to support their employees, both now and in the long term.

To help our own employees adapt professionally and personally to working from home, we have launched virtual events such as 'Let's get talking' and Women Inspiring Success and Excellence which included talks from motivational speakers, behavioural and mental health experts. Our employees report that these initiatives have helped build connectivity, peer-support, resilience, confidence and a culture of openness and well-being. We have also supported our employees, and our customers, with a range of well-being services that meet their personal circumstances, driving better health outcomes, happiness and productivity."

Tags: small business | business | budget | employees | Singapore | services | health care |



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