Over half of the UK is nervous about returning to work, according to a study by Westfield Health. Some sectors are experiencing more anxiety than others, and overall, employees are asking for more wellbeing support and a clear plan from their employers about the future.
Westfield Health surveyed 1,500 people in the UK about what the return to work following the pandemic will mean for them. 89 per cent of employees surveyed said that they were happy with their proposed future work plans, but in the government, transport and logistics sectors, there is a large amount of uncertainty and dissatisfaction.
The pandemic has caused some companies to look more closely at the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. However, it is not the case that all companies are doing a good job of this. According to Westfield Health, 66 per cent of employees surveyed said that they desired more wellbeing support from their employers, with 26 per cent saying that their company is currently missing “key wellbeing initiatives”.
In transport and logistics, 69 per cent of employees stated that they were nervous about returning to work, and 15 per cent are unhappy with the level of communication they have received from their employers regarding future work plans. As the world tries to figure out what the future of work is going to look like, some employees are being left behind by employers who have not yet clarified what the “new normal” will look like for them.
In terms of Covid restrictions, the transport sector is now in a strange limbo. Masks are still required on TfL services, for example, but all it takes is a ride on the tube to see that these rules are not widely enforced. This could add anxiety for transport employees who must work in-person, particularly for those who are concerned about catching Covid due to health issues.
Government jobs had the highest level of uncertainty, with 25 per cent of employees reporting that they are unhappy about proposed future working plans. Furloughed workers are also lacking information, leaving only 28 per cent of them satisfied with their employers’ levels of communication.
Coming out of the pandemic, people will need a strong sense of direction and certainty from their employers. It is, of course, difficult to predict what the future holds. However, continuing without the clearest roadmap possible in terms of the future of work, employees will be left to struggle with uncertainty and anxiety.