Webinar Summary, Slides & Video Recording: Working from Home – What is the Impact on Wellbeing?

Working from Home with Children

GCHW/IES May 5 Webinar Summary

The coronavirus COVID-19 crisis has heralded a massive shift in working patterns for many employees across most of the developed world. The impact on employee health and wellbeing is not fully understood yet. However, the current Institute for Employment Studies (IES) Working from Home Wellbeing survey  gives us a first glimpse. Stephen Bevan, Head of HR Research Development at UK-based IES reported on the data gathered from 850 respondents in the UK.

Key findings include:

  • After an initial major spike in musculoskeletal pain (50-60%) this has now trended lower, but still higher than before the crisis.
  • A deterioration of diet and exercise with 20% of respondents admitting to an increase in alcohol consumption, 33% eating a less healthy diet, and 60% exercising less.
  • Almost half (44%) report losing sleep due to worry and 42% report more fatigue than usual.
  • 36% say work pressure is too much and 43% don’t have enough time to get their work done.

According to Stephen Bevan some of the early lessons coming out of this research were:

  • Conduct risk assessment, duty of care & adjustments
  • Clarify performance expectations but with flexibility and employee involvement
  • Encourage scheduling to support work-life balance, sharing availability & boundary-setting within teams
  • Reduce the focus on work inputs and concentrate on outputs and quality – trust and task discretion are healthy
  • Be observant and spot ‘weak signals’ of declining mental health (Zoom is no substitute for empathy)
  • Remember, a random act of kindness does not make a manager ‘weak’ – especially now.

Finally, looking to the future a number of challenges are surfacing such as how to return to work safely, making working from home permanent, compressed working schedules and the impact of precarious work on mental health.

The Working from Home Wellbeing survey is currently being expanded to a number of additional countries (e.g. Brazil, India, UAE, Namibia). If you are interested in partnering on the global response please contact us at info@globalhealthyworkplace.org.

View webinar: Video Recording & Presentation Slides

IES UK Survey Information: https://www.employment-studies.co.uk/resource/ies-working-home-wellbeing-survey
IES UK Survey Link: https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=158514663787

India Survey Link with Arogya World: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/India-covid


Links to Workplace Health resources from the Institute for Employment Studies (IES)

A very recent study for Shell looking at the factors affecting mental illness and suicide risk in international shipping. Contains interviews with almost 30 global experts and a review of the research literature.

A blog looking at new data from 27,000 EU workers which shows a link between precarious work and mental wellbeing.

A blog looking at how COVID-19 may make some health inequalities worse by steepening the so-called ‘social gradient’ in health.

A report looking at the challenges faced by line managers who are under increasing pressure to deliver results and accommodate the needs of their direct reports. The ‘squeezed middle’ epithet is used to argue that, if managers are to deliver more wellbeing and better performance they need to be hugged not squeezed:

A report on Obesity and employment, looking at the prevalence of stigma and discrimination and why Obesity may need to be made a ‘protected characteristic’.

A blog looking at the evidence-base for mental health training for managers. It takes a critical view of interventions such as Mental Health First Aid, suggesting that they need more evidence if they are to be used more widely.


Don’t forget to check out our Coronavirus COVID-19 Resource Hub: https://www.globalhealthyworkplace.org/news-media/coronavirus-covid-19-resource-hub/

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