Survey points to slump in mental health well-being among workers during lockdown

The portion of workers describing their well-being as negative since during rose from seven to 22 per cent.
Ryan McAleer

A SIGNIFICANT number of workers across the north are struggling with lockdown conditions, a new survey suggests.

According to research carried out by recruitment group Hays last month, just 37 per cent of workers described their well-being as positive. It compares to 59 per cent before the introduction of coronavirus restrictions.

The survey, conducted among 655 Northern Ireland professionals at the start of May, found that the number of people describing their well-being as negative rose from seven per cent to 22 per cent.

One-in-four (23 per cent) pointed to the lack of social interaction as the biggest factor, followed by isolation and loneliness (14 per cent) and boredom (10 per cent).

Just over half of all respondents (51 per cent) said their employer had not provided any well-being support at all during the lockdown.

Only 18 per cent of those surveyed rated the mental health support they currently receive as excellent.

When asked what they would like their manager to focus on when it came to wellbeing, 45 per cent said better communication, 20 per cent said better access to support services, including counselling and 17 per cent wanted more focus on training.

Just under half (48 per cent) said work-life balance had become more important to them since lockdown, but 52 per cent still rated their work-life balance as average or poor.

John Moore, Managing Director of Hays Northern Ireland, commented:

“The wellbeing of staff needs to be a top priority for all organisations as the impact of the virus is felt on our personal and professional lives,” said John Moore, managing director of Hays Northern Ireland.

“Everybody will be having different experiences, so it’s important to maintain frequent updates and be as transparent as possible as our way of working continues to change.

“Some of the steps managers can take include regular video updates with their teams, being flexible with schedules and expectations, and offering wellbeing training.

“We can’t replicate the old ways of office life, but we can make sure that better support systems are in place to help your teams through the changes and challenges.”

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