Employee Wellbeing Statistics | UK 2022

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You can’t manage what you can’t measure. So, to help you create workplace health initiatives that are genuinely effective, we’re summarising our employee wellbeing statistics for 2022 in this article.

Employee wellbeing has been thrust to the forefront in the last two years in a way that has never happened before.

Last year, our organisations and their people were presented with new and ever-changing challenges.

These challenges affect every employee differently, so it’s crucial organisations can create effective wellbeing strategies to target issues that really matter. And the only way to create really effective wellbeing strategies is through a data-driven approach.

For years, Champion Health has been gaining these insights into all areas of employee wellbeing. Below, we’re summarising our findings for the past 12 months.

Download The Workplace Health Report

Employee wellbeing statistics

This year we created The Workplace Health Report: 2022, which highlights our anonymous employee wellbeing statistics generated over the past 12 months.

In this article, you’ll get an overview of these employee wellbeing statistics – from mental health to MSK pain – so you can discover the health trends prevalent in organisations like yours right now.

We believe this will help you to cut through the noise in workplace health, so you can start targeting your wellbeing initiatives for maximum impact.

For a closer look at each area of wellbeing, you’re encouraged to follow the links under the relevant sections below.

Stress

As an employer, you’re always striving to find that ‘sweet spot’, where your people are productive and challenged but not at the expense of their health or happiness.

However, everybody’s capacity to manage stress is different, which raises the importance of an individualised approach to stress management.

For example, almost 35% of employees report that the stress they experience at work is having a negative impact on them.

 

Experience of stress at work 2022

 

And overall, 67% of our professionals are experiencing moderate to high levels of stress.

Self reported employee stress levels 2022

 

Anxiety and depression

Across the board, employees experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression are high. Our data reveals that nearly 60% of employees feel anxious and just over half feel low in mood.

Anxiety and depression in employees data

These figures are similar to those published in Champion’s previous data release in January 2021.

And whilst most employees do not report a current mental health diagnosis, nearly 1 in 4 met the criteria for ‘clinically relevant symptoms’ of anxiety and depression, suggesting they would benefit from further assessment and support from a qualified mental health professional.

Poor mental health is also cited as a factor that impacts productivity for 1 in 5 employees, contributing to costly levels of presenteeism (on both a personal and business level).

Despite the best efforts of organisations, the data suggests that many employees are still struggling. Whilst this might not be solely due to factors at work, the effects are certainly felt in the workplace.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain

Musculoskeletal (MSK) health is a wellbeing issue that’s too often overlooked. But it’s having a significant impact on your employee’s health.

During 2021, as many people continued to work from kitchen tables rather than in an office, rates of MSK pain were high across the board.

Our data reveals that across 2021, nearly 60% of employees reported current MSK pain, most commonly in their lower-back, neck and knees.

The rise in poor MSK health appears to be partially linked to the time that employees are spending sedentary. On average, Champion’s data showed that employees are sitting for nearly 11 hours per day; two hours longer than the UK average (NHS 2019).

Only 18% are breaking their sitting periods with the recommended frequency (every 30 minutes) and over 40% of employees are breaking sitting periods every 2 hours or more.

The knock-on effects of this are professional as well as personal. Alongside increasing the risk of MSK pain, time spent sedentary is also associated with impaired work performance and reduced productivity (Journal of Occupational Health 2021).

MSK pain prevalence

 

Financial health

Financial wellbeing is climbing the workplace health agenda, a process which has been accelerated by the uncertainty which was present throughout 2021.

This has led to nearly half of all employers implementing a financial wellbeing policy (CIPD 2021).

Our own data found that a significant percentage of employees are being affected by worries surrounding their financial wellbeing.

Like anxiety and depression, our data shows financial pressure is disproportionately affecting your younger employees.

For more data, we’ve gone into more depth around financial health statistics in this report.

Financial stress outside of work

Data compared with 2020

During 2020, Champion found that 58% of a 2,099 employee sample reported some form of stress at work, whilst as many as 69% experienced moderate to high levels of stress in general.

In terms of anxiety, similarly concerning levels were reported. Nearly two thirds (63%) of individuals experienced at least mild symptoms of anxiety last year, while an even greater number (73%) said they had had trouble relaxing.

Finally, when it came to reporting on levels of depression, a staggering 58% of employees said they had experienced at least mild symptoms of depression, with over 1 in 4 (26%) reporting symptoms that were moderate to severe.

How can employers help?

The message is clear for employers: wellbeing in the workplace has never been more important. Many businesses already have strategies in place, but we know they can be improved. What’s more, if you don’t have a strategy in place, it’s time to start thinking.

From our work with employers across the UK, we know that organisations are in desperate need of proactive wellbeing strategies that address 100% of the workforce.

Rather than relying on reactive strategies that only reach employees when they hit ‘crisis point’, proactive strategies work across the organisation to reduce the likelihood of these crises. For a deeper look, read our full insight into where workplace wellbeing must improve in 2021.

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Other content Karsten has contributed to:

12 Minutes of Workplace Health Podcast Episode #21

Boosting your wellbeing with nature

Eating Disorders in the Workplace

Other content Harry Bliss has contributed to:

12 Minutes of Workplace Health Podcast Episode #21

Boosting your wellbeing with nature

Eating Disorders in the Workplace