More employees are neglecting their physical health due to work as daily anxieties and dissatisfaction mount up, according to a report from Aviva, which lays bare the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on UK workers.
Aviva has been tracking employees’ changing experiences of the modern workplace since before the pandemic first struck. Research initially conducted in February 2020 was repeated in August after the first wave and again in March this year, as the pandemic has accelerated pre-existing changes in workplace culture.
The report – Thriving in the Age of Ambiguity: building resilience for the new realities of work reveals that, while the blurring of work-life boundaries has brought welcome flexibility for many, the increasingly ambiguous relationship between employers and employees is a major source of unease and uncertainty. The result is a growing strain on people’s balance between work and home life, employment and retirement.
Life satisfaction drops as anxieties rise
Satisfaction has taken a hit as the number of employees who are completely satisfied with life has dropped by ten percentage points, falling from 67% in February 2020 to 57% in March 2021.
At the same time, the number of employees who report feeling anxious from day-to-day has increased from 22% in August 2020 to 27% in March 2021.
This is particularly evident among female workers (35% in March 2021 vs. a national figure of 20%). Aviva’s findings chime with research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which found that lockdown has affected the young and women most significantly as they make up the bulk of retail and hospitality staff.