Worker Wellbeing and Mental Health 2021


Recent statistics from Aviva indicate that employees are neglecting physical health because of work demands. These findings highlight a significant problem for wellbeing and mental health for workers during the pandemic.

The Good News

Although the pandemic puts continuous stress on many aspects of working life, there have been a few positive increases for employee wellbeing. According to Aviva’s recent statistics:

  • 61% of employees believe their employers care about there wellbeing. This is a slight increase from before the pandemic.
  • 44% of employees believe their employers understand their motivations. Granted, this statistic isn’t anything to brag about, but is a slight increase from before the pandemic began.

The Bad News

As the pandemic puts strain on many of our working lives, it appears that 58% of workers are neglecting physical health over their work commitments. Furthermore, 86% of employees confirm that they have been checking work emails outside of normal working hours. The blurring of work life boundaries with flexible working, although advantageous for some, has caused unease for others as the relationships between employers and employees become more ambiguous, the report found.

Furthermore, between August and March 2021, there has been an increase of workers feeling anxious on a day to day basis. This is an increase from 22% in August to 27% March 2021. This is a concerning statistic with regards to wellbeing and mental health.

An increasing Impact on Women

The impact on women the pandemic has had on wellbeing and mental health, especially for anxiety, are highlighted within the findings. In contrast to a prior national figure of 20%. day to day anxiety has risen for women to 35%. Research from a range of sources indicate that women and young people more generally have been significantly affected as they make up the majority of hospitality and retail staff.

Want to find out more how the changing working environment has affected women? Read our article on inclusion and diversity for hybrid workers.

Employees Concerns for the Future

Some additional good news is that fewer employees believe they will have to work longer before retirement. The statistics here are 70% for March 2021, a slight decrease from August of 8%. However, in March this year as many as 48% of surveyed employees reported not knowing how much they need to save for retirement. This is a significant increase as only 39% reported this prior to the pandemic. For females this is even higher, with 57% reporting they don’t know how much they need to save in March 2021. Aviva states here the importance for employers to provide “guidance and flexibility to support an employee’s journey into later life”.

 Debbie Bullock, Head of wellbeing at Aviva would summarise these findings stating:

“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, as well as concern for their future due to a lack of clarity about their retirement prospects.”

 Debbie Bullock, Head of wellbeing at Aviva.

For more information regarding wellbeing at work or for more HR support, contact us.