11th July 2018

Work impacts on mental wellbeing, research shows

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Top performers in the UK workplace are close to burning out in their jobs, with more than a third admitting their workload is unsustainable, a new study has shown.

The ‘Smart Talent Expects’ report focused on the behaviour and attitude of 1,000 employees in the UK who shine at work (according to their employers) due to their high-drive and ambition. It noted that 42 per cent of these admit work impacts negatively on their personal lives.

Work is also impacting on mental wellbeing, according to 41 per cent of the smart talent employees, increasing to 49 per cent of 25-34-year-olds.

While nearly three quarters of respondents said a good work-life balance is attractive in an employer, only 41 per cent claim their current job allows for this, with 68 per cent believing their employer should take shared responsibility for their emotional and physical wellbeing.

Smart talent employees are keen to use new forms of technology to enable them to manage their workloads, with 64 per cent suggesting that new digital technologies brought in at work would enable them to be more efficient in their role.

However, half of respondents would not hesitate to leave their current employer if their career expectations were not met and felt let down by their employer in the last six months.

Dean Forbes, CEO at CoreHR, the firm that commissioned the report, said: “People thrive when they’re challenged, but shouldn’t be pushed to breaking point. Employers should always be mindful of setting clear goals as well as boundaries and providing strong support networks for their employees.

“Job satisfaction and mental wellbeing go hand-in-hand with better performance, creativity and how well colleagues cooperate. Specifically, smarter HR technologies that give people more ownership over their careers are an incredibly powerful enabler and time-saver. Providing your talent with substandard technology is tantamount to making their jobs harder by causing delays, operating problems and significant workplace stress.

“The assumption that employees who continually work long hours are simply showing their commitment is a dangerous one. Failure to develop and support smart talent in reaching their full potential not only makes your employees want to head for the door but leads towards a vicious cycle of turnover making it equally painful to attract more. The reality is that business leaders need to use smarter technologies to make it easier for employees to perform under pressure whilst also maintaining a healthy work-life balance.”