This year's remote work experiment has negative impact on third of UK workforce

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A third (33%) of UK workers have said that changes to their work routine, including working from home, have had a negative effect on their wellbeing this year.

According to a new survey from insurance company YuLife, less than half (48%) of the UK’s remote workforce said they felt supported in the transition to working outside of the office, and one in four said that their employer has not looked after their wellbeing.

The sentiment could have a knock-on effect on retention in the year ahead as the vast majority (87%) of employees agreed that having their wellbeing taken care of makes them more likely to stay with a business.

Rapidly adapting to the challenges of the pandemic, employers were initially optimistic about the positive impact remote work was having on productivity, and employees responded well to more flexibility.

As the year has progressed though, the conversation has now turned to concerns about poor mental health and employees suffering with burnout.

Sammy Rubin, CEO and founder at YuLife said: “The needs and wants of employees have undoubtedly changed since the start of the pandemic.

“The data shows that employees are placing a greater emphasis on wellbeing with employees overwhelmingly believing that their employers have an obligation to care for their financial and mental wellbeing.”

There was also an indication that some people have adapted the ‘new normal’ way of working, as the number of employees that reported feeling stressed decreased by 6%, down to 41%.

Twenty-five per cent of respondents also said that they are appreciating the value of their mental and physical wellbeing more since the outbreak.

Speaking to HR magazine Sam Fromson, co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) at YuLife, said: “Given the adaptations that 2020 has forced us all to make, it’s no surprise that people are appreciating the importance of their everyday physical and mental wellbeing more.

“Support for employee wellbeing is a clear factor in encouraging retention and reducing churn, and so it’s a win-win for employers and employees alike when companies demonstrate genuine care for their staff.”

Fieldwork for the YuLife survey was undertaken between 3 and 4 December with a nationally representative sample of 2056 UK adults aged 18 and over.