41% of the workforce feel that their workplace has negatively impacted on their wellbeing during the pandemic. That’s according to global absence expert, Edays, who surveyed employees across the UK to determine the impact of the workplace on employee wellbeing, and changes to employee perceptions over the past two years.
At a time when the health and wellbeing of employees has never been more important in the workplace, the largest proportion of those surveyed (26%) feel worse in terms of wellbeing than they did in 2019. A further 25% feel mixed, stating that their wellbeing has been fluctuating.
When it comes to the 2022 outlook, a third (33%) of the workforce are expecting to feel tired and burnt-out next year. Alongside this, 27% feel they are more likely to take sick days from work over the next 12 months.
Insights into absence
Surprisingly, 42% of respondents reported that their organisation doesn’t encourage them to take time out to recover more since COVID. Similarly, 30% say their employer doesn’t check in with them after a sick day or repeat absences. A minimal, but not insignificant, 10% of employees reported getting no support for their mental and physical wellbeing in the workplace at all.
Commenting on these findings, CEO of Edays, Matt Jenkins, reflected: “It is the responsibility of business leaders to implement the right tools and technologies to monitor both physical and mental health of their workforce and manage absence to promote a positive workplace culture and boost business performance. If they don’t, operational, compliance, and reputational risks will ripple rapidly throughout the business.”
To combat this, Edays provides business and HR leaders with real-time absence alerts to spot patterns and trends and act fast and intelligently before they become a problem, which creates a culture of support and honesty in which wellbeing really matters. Employee ease of access to book holidays, check vital absence policies and the ability to connect to online GP and EAP platforms encourage the transparency necessary to help overcome these mental and physical wellbeing challenges.
The survey also found that over a fifth (21%) of organisations don’t have technology to track employee absences and a further 19% have the technology in place, but it is not monitored. In light of this, Edays is calling for businesses to gain a better understanding of wellbeing trends, rigorously monitor absence and spot these trends in advance.
Jenkins continued: “It’s currently make-or-break for UK employers: it has never been so crucial to recognise the importance of a well-supported workforce. To see that a majority of employees find their workplace has negatively impacted their wellbeing during such a difficult time is disheartening to say the least.
As we approach the winter, and with this data in mind, now is the time to implement an optimised absence management platform to get a better understanding of potential presenteeism within the business and prove to your employees that absence matters”.