Wellbeing Director, Business in the Community
Unprecedented pressures on UK businesses and unhealthy ways of working are in the way of employee wellbeing and engagement.
The UK’s businesses and society are facing a storm of issues — ongoing disruption from Covid-19, an uncertain post-Brexit environment, the cost-of-living crisis, an overstretched NHS, the climate emergency and widening social inequalities.
Effect of mental health on employee engagement
Poor mental health issues cost the UK economy almost £118 billion annually, with 72% of this due to lost productivity related to employees who are either experiencing mental health problems or caring for others with poor mental health.
This is supported by research from Business in the Community (BITC) into the cost-of-living crisis, which found that almost half of adults felt their current financial situation has negatively impacted their mental health.
Despite knowing the costs of poor mental health, this is not translating into change at a time when business leaders need to prioritise employee wellbeing. Now, more than ever, employers should take the opportunity to put people at the heart of their organisational purpose and business strategy.
Poor mental health issues cost the UK economy almost £118 billion annually.
Better employee engagement with work-life balance
Employers can achieve employee wellbeing by designing jobs around people while prioritising their mental health and aiming to achieve a successful work-life balance. Research shows that 84% of employees feel more productive when they have a sense of wellbeing, and almost two-thirds of employees would accept a lower-paid job for a positive work-life balance.
Flexible work is increasingly in demand, but few jobs offer this even though job advertisements offering flexible work attract 30% more applicants than inflexible roles. Employers must redefine the business case for investment by focusing on the benefits of a thriving workforce rather than the costs of a struggling one. By prioritising and investing in people, the potential for success is immense.