With a turbulent few years behind them, nearly one-third (28.2%) of UK workers are asking for greater mental health and well-being support in the workplace from their employers to combat isolation and low motivation.
This is according to the latest Workplace Trends survey from Aspire, a UK recruitment agency with a global footprint. More than 900 candidates shared their opinions in the survey, painting a picture of workplace satisfaction.
The shift to remote working during the pandemic has continued, with some businesses operating remote-only policies and others exploring hybrid models that offer both remote and in-office working.
Most workers enjoy the flexibility of remote working; it was ranked by survey respondents as the third most important factor when searching for a new job. However, the shift to fully remote practices hasn’t been helpful for everyone, with some companies abandoning permanent office space altogether.
This may be contributing to an increase in mental health concerns across the workforce, with a third of employees in the same survey reporting low motivation at work, including feeling “unmotivated” (14.4%) or “not very motivated” (18.6%).
To improve the situation, staff want their employers to offer dedicated mental health and well-being support. A quarter (24.7%) also want more team social events with their colleagues, in a bid to improve morale, integration and team dynamics.
Commenting on the findings, Aspire’s Global Managing Director, Terry Payne, said:
“Hybrid working has become mainstream, giving workers flexibility and freedom in how and where they work. It’s also opened up new opportunities for businesses to hire from a wider talent pool rather than being restricted to only local candidates.
“This approach has delivered benefits for businesses and individuals. But we’re all more aware than ever of the importance of mental health and wellbeing – in the workplace and at home. And full-time remote working clearly doesn’t work for some.
“As well as offering proper mental health support through an approved or accredited provider, businesses should be identifying opportunities to bring staff together for work and social events. By making support available to staff and building team dynamics, employers can reduce feelings of isolation – helping workers to feel more connected, motivated and happy at work.
“This approach will also go a long way towards attracting staff, too. And it will give employers the flexibility to cast their nets wider and source skilled candidates from further afield, overcoming skills shortages.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.