Almost a year into th­e pandemic, with lockdowns and furlough now part of everyday life, it’s easy to assume that we understand it – that we’ve got the measure of Covid, and it’s now just a case of enduring until the vaccine rollout is complete.

But if there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s that things are rarely so straightforward; our recovery – economic, social, physical and mental – will be far from linear. We are yet to see the full impact of this pandemic.

We asked 1,600 employees and HR leaders across England about their workplace health and wellbeing. With this research, we set out to quantify the impact that a year of risk, worry and change has had on our wellbeing and how that in turn affects the workplace.

Key findings include:

  • Mental health days off rose by 10% in 2020, costing businesses a total of £14bn
  • The North of England had 76% more mental health days off than the South
  • Presenteeism is masking poor mental health in the workforce
  • Over 1/3 of employees say their mental health affects their productivity on a weekly basis
  • Employees report significantly lower levels of morale, wellbeing and productivity compared to HR leaders
  • 81% of HR leaders say the pandemic has increased their wellbeing focus
  • A third of employees (33%) reported that mental wellbeing at their organisation is ‘not good’ or ‘not good at all’
  • A quarter of employees (25%) are looking for extra wellbeing support from their employer in the coming months

Regional factsheets

Wondering how Covid has affected your local region? Our quick-reference factsheets explore the pandemic’s impact on the North, South and Midlands, including how employees view morale, productivity and mental wellbeing.

Download the report

Further research

Looking for evidence of how wellbeing impacts post-Covid economic recovery? Our second report, Coping after Covid explores the link between wellbeing and productivity, including advice on how business leaders and HR professionals can transform company culture to foster a happier, more engaged workforce.