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Home working resulting in lower mental health wellbeing, study finds

Some 24% of UK workers said their mental wellbeing was lower than normal as a result of home working, a higher percentage than in other countries (15%).

The research, which was conducted Sodexo and Harris Interactive in June 2020, tracked the sentiment of UK employees from both the private and public sectors during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Respondents were asked about a range of issues including physical and mental wellbeing, productivity and the perceived pros and cons of remote working.

Eight out of 10 employees who have worked from home during the pandemic have stated that they would like to continue working remotely, albeit on a part-time basis (33% say ideally three days per week, 30% two days per week).

However, the lack of social interaction has left three out of 10 feeling lonely and of those still working from home at the time of the survey 57% stated they felt nervous about work in the next few weeks/months.

Employees put a significant amount of trust in their employers to protect them, so businesses must be prepared to deliver a safe environment, illustrated by almost seven out of 10 concerned about their own health and safety at work.

Sean Haley, regional chair, Sodexo UK and Ireland said: “Clearly the way in which we work is changing as a result of Covid-19. It’s vital that organisations understand and respond to the new demands on their workplaces and teams, to rethink employee experience and address their concerns.

“We are ready to help our clients adapt to these new demands and this research enables employers to understand how employees feel about workplaces reopening and their attitudes towards a mixed model of working both in the office or remotely.

He added: “Our experts can provide advice on adapting offices spaces to ensure appropriate distancing, on enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures, and on providing healthy, nutritious meal options for those returning to their workplace.”

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