New research commissioned by Perkbox, the employee experience platform, of 13,271 employees has found that 93% of employees have faced new wellbeing challenges in 2020. The most common being feeling less connected to the company/colleagues, increased loneliness/feelings of isolation and increased financial concerns. 

The study discovered the wellbeing impacts of the events of 2020. A huge 73% state that coronavirus has negatively impacted their mental health, followed by Brexit (29%) and Black Lives Matter (27%). 1 in 10 were also affected by the Australian bush fires.

When it comes to employers’ reactions to these events, While 84% of employees said employers addressed coronavirus with them, just 34% have announced a back-to-work plan so far. Moreover, less than a third (32%) of employees state that their employer has a diversity and inclusion strategy, with only 22% of businesses addressing Black Lives Matter. 

Despite these challenges, 53% of employees are currently in good mental wellbeing, with just under a quarter (23%) feeling negatively. The data revealed that the mental wellbeing effects of the global pandemic are being felt most strongly by 18-24 year olds, with the figure rising to 31% for this age group. 

Overall, 88% of employees feel their employer has looked after them well during the pandemic so far, but the research did find the importance to mental wellbeing of employees feeling trusted by their employer. 

For those who have made the switch to working from home, positively, most employees (75%) feel that their employer trusts them to be as productive at home as they are normally, with just 8% feeling distrusted. 

Delving deeper into this data, half of those who feel their employer distrusts them to be as productive when working from home as they would be in the office, currently experience poor mental wellbeing. On the other hand, of those who feel completely trusted by their employer to be as productive at home as they are in the workplace, the majority (61%) currently hold good mental wellbeing.  

Revealing the results of the ‘world’s biggest work from home experiment’, before the pandemic, 60% of employees ‘never’ worked from home. Now, just 9% of employees would like to work completely from the office, with 23% wishing to work from home two days a week, followed by almost 1 in 5 (18%) this 3 days working remotely is ideal.

Perkbox also asked employees what is most important to attract them to a job in the future. Most popular is ‘financial wellbeing initiatives’ (67%), alongside ‘flexible hours’ (57%) and ‘remote working options’ (48%), reinforcing the seemingly overwhelming desire to move away from the traditional ‘9-5’ working routine.


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