New research from global health service company Cigna Europe has revealed that uncertainties about the future along with worries around personal finance are the leading causes of stress amongst UK workers.
As 2020 draws to a close and the pandemic continues on, Cigna’s COVID-19 Global Impact Study unveils more than three quarters (76%) of Brits are currently stressed, more than half say uncertainty about the future is the leading cause, followed by personal finances (32%) and the amount of news/information related to COVID-19 on the media (32%).
As news of a vaccine continues to dominate the headlines, the study also shows that Brits have concerns about returning to work when rules are relaxed, with 40% concerned about catching the virus during their commute, 37% are worried about an outbreak returning when mixing in the office whilst 36% have worries over restrictions they will face in the work environment. Many workers feel financial support from their employer for COVID testing would be a key incentive to returning to the workplace.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every part of life across the globe and continues to play a major part in fueling stress”, said Arjan Toor, CEO, Cigna Europe. “It’s evident from our research that people are weighed down by this stress, with anxiety around income and future prospects in our new world the leading causes. This is in stark contrast to our first Impact study in April which showed that 78% of UK workers felt they had good job stability. It’s been a tough year for many, and it is naturally worrying to see so many people stressed about their future.”
The ‘always on’ corporate culture has grown rapidly since lockdown began in March, with almost 7 in 10 (68%) of workers always-on, more than half (54%) are working after working hours, 50% before working hours, and more than 4 in 10 (43%) are working on weekends. Encouragingly however, employers are remaining more flexible as the pandemic continues. The most popular measures put in place by employers are flexible working location/hours (37%) and mental health support (29%).
Toor added: “The emotional toll the virus has had on so many people, not to mention the experiences of isolation, loneliness, financial hardships and mental health trauma cannot be underestimated. As the year draws to a close, we need to look ahead to 2021 and how we, as a whole health partner, can intuitively understand our customers in this increasingly complex world, and support them in each and every aspect of their lives.”
The Cigna COVID-19 Global Impact Study is an ongoing study that has been conducted by Cigna, in partnership with Kantar, between January and October 2020, and will continue into 2021. To date, more than 23,000 online interviews have been conducted across China, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.
The study was conducted using an online survey, with respondents recruited from online panels and undergo rigorous quality control. Age, gender and residing city quotas were set based on the population proportion of respective markets. The 20 to 25 minutes survey was completed anonymously.
Read the full report here.