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Workplace stress and anxiety leads to productivity drop, reveals new employee wellbeing report from Champion Health

A study of 2,200 UK employees has revealed that two thirds of people (67.2%) are experiencing moderate to high levels of stress and that 28% have seen their productivity negatively impacted by high stress levels in the last two years.

Data released today by national workplace wellbeing provider Champion Health gives an insight into the mental health and wellbeing of the country’s working population between April 2020 and December 2021. Champion Health provides an evidence-based wellbeing platform and personalised support to more than 4,000 employees across the UK.

Worryingly, 8% of people shared that they have experienced self-harm and/or suicidal thoughts. The data, which has been published in Champion Health’s annual report (available to download on the Champion Health website) also revealed that:

  • Around 60% of workers feel anxious and females are more likely to feel anxious (62% female compared to 37% male);
  • Almost 60% of workers are experiencing musculoskeletal pain. Of those suffering, 70% are home or hybrid workers, whereas office workers make up just 17% of the sample;
  • Workers aged 25-34 are most likely to experience anxiety, depression and financial stress;
  • 52% of UK professionals are experiencing symptoms of depression, with around a quarter (22%) being identified as experiencing clinically significant symptoms;
  • More than half of respondents say that they feel ‘fatigued” and 53% report that tiredness was impacting their productivity at work;
  • The survey showed that people feel most energised to work at 10.22am and are least energised at 3.31pm.

In addition, a total of 56% of respondents said they had the “perfect amount of stress to allow them to thrive” but 34% said that stress was negatively impacting them. The top factors causing stress at work are workload, lack of control, less support and senior staff.

More than 600 people (28%) said high stress was impacting their productivity.

Harry Bliss, CEO of Champion Health, said that while the findings were worrying, business leaders could learn a lot from the information. He added that it presented a wake up call for businesses and organisations who needed to take the wellbeing and mental health of their teams seriously.

Bliss comments: “It’s no surprise that the last two years have been extremely tough on employees and I’m really concerned about the findings of this report. What we’re seeing here is a workforce feeling the huge effects of the changes to workplaces and the heightening expectations placed upon them as individuals.

“To address this, we need to see a quantifiable, significant step-up in the amount of investment companies make in employee wellbeing strategies so that employees are supported to overcome the struggles that they’ve faced throughout the pandemic. This latest insight shows the clear link between productivity and mental health and wellbeing. Companies can help turn this dangerous pattern around by taking several steps; and doing so goes much beyond having much happier employees. It will enable employers to retain great people who are motivated to complete brilliant work day in, day out.”

Champion Health will be hosting a virtual event to share actionable advice following the report findings on 1st February 2022.

Champion Health’s solutions were developed by world-leading academics, GPs and technology professionals. Through a team of over 50 professionals and academics, the company is proud to have improved health and wellbeing outcomes across the UK and works with companies including England Athletics, Southwest Water, Rabobank, NHS Derbyshire and Twinkl.