Posted By Westfield Health

Posted on18th August 2022

Many workers have seen a change in their working style in recent years. Whether it’s a different shift pattern, location or environment, the way we work has a huge impact on company culture and work-life balance.

Our recent Culture of Wellbeing survey of 2,000 UK workers revealed hybrid and remote working is most common in the following sectors:

  1. IT and communication (76% have access to remote or hybrid working)
  2. Finance and insurance (67%)
  3. Public sector admin, defence and social security (60%)
  4. Real estate (52%)

While home and hybrid working styles are often beneficial to employees, for business leaders they can present new challenges in terms of employee wellbeing. Homeworking can make it difficult for managers to notice changes in their team and employees may feel less comfortable discussing their health remotely, leading them to be physically present but mentally checked out — a phenomenon known as presenteeism.

Reaching a remote workforce is especially difficult for those without a dedicated HR or wellbeing team, and cost and time constraints often prevent businesses from tailoring their benefits to their employees’ needs.

Which sectors want more support?

It’s not surprising, then, that the sectors where hybrid working is common are often the ones where employees would like additional wellbeing support.

When asked if they’d like to receive more resources to support their wellbeing (such as webinars or online guides), sectors with the most demand were:

  1. IT and communication (54% would like to receive more wellbeing resources)
  2. Professional, scientific and technical (48%)
  3. Real estate (48%)
  4. Finance and insurance (47%)

In all these sectors, around half of employees felt they’d benefit from resources to support them in the workplace.

Before investing in wellbeing resources, business leaders in these sectors should begin by gathering feedback from their people to determine what support is needed most. From there, they can choose resources and initiatives that are tailored to individuals’ needs, increasing the impact — and value for money — of their employee support.

What’s the impact on mental health?

One area that’s been particularly impacted by the pandemic, and more recently the cost-of-living crisis, is employee mental health.

In the sectors above, where employees are looking for additional resources to support their wellbeing, workers are also reporting that their mental health has declined in the past two years.

The biggest impact has been in the IT and communications sector, where almost half (49%) of people say their mental health is ‘a bit worse’ or ‘a lot worse’ than before the pandemic. In the finance sector, more than a third (36%) of workers say their mental health has declined.

While mental health is just one wellbeing issue facing employees today, it’s an area where small additions to the company wellbeing strategy can have a big impact. Initiatives such as Mental Health First Aid, webinars and online training are all effective ways to help your people engage with mental health both in and outside the workplace. 

Useful links

These resources can help you get started with employee wellbeing or adapt your existing plan to better suit your workforce.

Workplace Strategy Workbook
Our free e-book helps you create a wellbeing strategy that empowers your people to make positive changes in the workplace.

Health Calendar
Ready-made annual wellbeing employee engagement programmes, covering a range of health and wellbeing topics.

Our Changing Attitudes to Mental Health
This report explores how employee attitudes to mental health have changed since the pandemic.

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