Employers are failing to provide adequate support to stressed staff and anxious employees, according to research.
Canada Life Group Insurance carried out a study which found that UK productivity is being severely impacted by stress and anxiety. Three in ten workers have admitted feeling anxious or stressed because of high workloads and pressure to perform regularly impacts their productivity at work.
The wellbeing of staff has varying effects due to different workplace environments and employees in office environments are more likely to feel anxious or stressed because of work compared to home workers.
Nearly half of employees working from home said they aren’t regularly negatively impacted by issues such as feeling anxious or stressed, tired or ill compared to less than a fifth of employees working in a cubicle style office and 27 per cent in an open plan office.
Productivity may be boosted with the offer of flexible working arrangements to reduce stress as three quarters of respondents say it improves their productivity, but many employers fail to acknowledge the positive impact of flexible working.
Almost half of employees say their employer does not know how to improve productivity, but a quarter of employees say that helpful employee benefits and perks would have the most positive impact on productivity.
23 per cent of workers say feeling their employer does not care about their health or wellbeing which also damages productivity.
Paul Avis, marketing director of Canada Life Group Insurance, said: “It is important to keep in mind that not everybody operates in the same way and being flexible with your staff can often mean creating a better working environment and increased engagement.
“For example, flexible working not only has the benefit of improving work-life balance but can also have a positive influence on overall employee health. People want to give their best, but we are all leading increasingly busy and “always-on” lives.
“Allowing employees to fit in time to exercise, drop off and collect their children from school or start/finish earlier or later can make an enormous difference to productivity. It also demonstrates that employers care about their staff and are prepared to move beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to ensure employees work at their best, which can only be a good thing for companies.
“With a quarter of staff saying employee benefits and perks would have the most positive impact on their productivity, employers need to ensure they are supporting staff not only via flexible working but also their corporate benefits package. Ensuring employees have access to a range of protection solutions will ensure staff feel they have a robust support system to help them should they need it. Whatever changes businesses make to increase productivity in the workplace, it is important that staff wellbeing is at the heart of it.”