Welsh workers struggle with reduced social interaction during lockdown, hitting wellbeing

Research reveals that wellbeing amongst professionals in Wales has taken a dive since lockdown restrictions were enforced in March, according to a new survey by recruiting experts, Hays.

From a survey of over 16,200 professionals, over 400 of those based in Wales, almost two thirds (62%) rated their wellbeing as positive before restrictions were put in place, but only 34% said it remained positive since lockdown. Those who rated their wellbeing as negative rose from 8% to 27%.

Almost a quarter (21%) of workers said a lack of social interaction has been the greatest challenge to their wellbeing, followed by isolation and loneliness (13%) and managing children (11%).

Workers look to employers for more support

Three quarters (75%) of professionals in the country say their employer has a responsibility to look after their wellbeing, but over half (53%) state that their employer hasn’t provided any wellbeing support during the lockdown.

Of those who said their employer was providing support, social activities and training were the most commonly cited offerings (16%), followed by counselling (14%).

Work-life balance is a bigger priority since lockdown

For nearly half (49%) of professionals in the country, work-life balance has become more important to them since lockdown, despite 50% rating their work-life balance between average and very poor.

Having adequate mental health support from their employer has also become more important since being in lockdown, according to 44% of those surveyed.

Simon Winfield, Managing Director of Hays UK & Ireland, commented:

“The wellbeing of staff needs to be a top priority for all organisations as the impact of the virus is felt on our personal and professional lives. Everybody will be having different experiences, so it’s important to maintain frequent updates and be as transparent as possible as our way of working continues to change.

Some of the steps managers can take include regular video updates with their teams, being flexible with schedules and expectations, and offering wellbeing training. We can’t replicate the old ways of office life, but we can make sure that better support systems are in place to help your teams through the changes and challenges.”

 

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