Problems mounting for employees in new era of work, study suggests

More people are neglecting their physical health due to work as anxieties and dissatisfaction mount up amid the huge change in the world of work caused by the pandemic, new research suggests.

Finance giant Aviva said the number of workers who are satisfied with life has fallen from 67% in February 2020 to 57% in March this year, while over one in four now say they feel anxious.

A survey of 2,000 adults indicated that more were neglecting their physical health because they were too busy at work, said Aviva.

Almost nine out of 10 respondents said they were checking emails outside of working hours.

Debbie Bullock, Wellbeing lead at Aviva, said: “We are living through an ‘age of ambiguity’ that is impacting society and workplaces across the UK.

“Elements of our lives which were previously certain are overlapping and changing beyond recognition. The concept of work itself is becoming increasingly fluid as the world evolves faster than ever before.

“Our research reveals unpredictable futures are placing a significant strain on the balance between work and home life, with more employees reporting feelings of anxiety and dissatisfaction.

“We believe employers can play a major role in guiding their employees through this ambiguity. By promoting healthier habits and incremental shifts in attitudes and actions, we can empower people to make informed, balanced and positive career and lifestyle choices.”

Mike Clancy, general secretary of the Prospect union, said: “This research is further evidence that the always on culture is a significant and growing problem.

“Employers need to recognise that this is a problem which will ultimately result in lost days, decreased productivity, a demotivated workforce and burnout.

“Prospect is campaigning for the Government to put a right to disconnect in law so that workers don’t have their health adversely affected by being pressurised into working all the time.”