A study conducted by AXA across 5,800 working and non-working people across the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland looked to determine how the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic was affecting workers mental health.
Key findings from A Report on Mental Health & Wellbeing in Europe reveal that:
- Sixty-four per cent of those in work across the UK and Europe said their work-related stress levels had increased compared with pre-pandemic levels
- Twenty-seven per cent aged 25-34 said their mental health had deteriorated during the pandemic compared with 17 per cent of those aged 55-plus
- Along with Spain (85 per cent), Brits (82 per cent) lead the way when it comes to missing physical contact with people outside of their direct household; France (78 per cent), Italy (78 per cent), Belgium (75 per cent), Switzerland (73 per cent) and Germany (65 per cent) follow
Adapting to mitigate the ‘always on’ environment of working from home
“For those who’ve switched to working from home there are new challenges. Your work now spills into your living room, kitchen and your family environment. So, it’s important to put clear physical and psychological boundaries in place to ensure you’re not slipping into being ‘always on’ for work,” Dr Chris Tomkins, AXA Health Head of Wellbeing, said.
Dr Tomkins added that, where relevant, managers should also consider redirecting savings from reduced travel and office costs into staff wellbeing and engagement, which will become integral to the operations of a more dispersed workforce.
A balance between physical, mental and social wellbeing
Dr Tomkins advised employers and employees not to view mental health in isolation. “Rather, for a healthy life, we need a balance between our physical, mental and social wellbeing,” he said.
“As the pandemic continues into winter, it’s imperative that working people not only stay safe but also remember to look after their all-round health – and that employers and their health partners support this,” Dr Tomkins concluded.