25% say work is bad for their physical or mental wellbeing

New research has revealed that one in four employees believe work is bad for their physical or mental wellbeing at 23% and 25% respectively, a decrease from 26% and 27% in 2020.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)’s annual Good Work Index, job quality in the UK continues to fall short but has been unaffected by the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

The research measured seven aspects of job quality such as pay and benefits, work-life balance, and health and wellbeing but found little material change in the past year. More than 6,000 workers, a representative sample of the UK labour market, including those on furlough, took part in the February 2021 survey.

Half (52%) of respondents said their work offers good opportunities for development, comparable with 48% who said the same in 2020, and 30% reported unmanageable workloads, down from 32% in 2020.

One in four (24%) reported a poor work-life balance, finding it difficult to relax in their personal time because of work – the same figure as 2020.

Mel Green, research adviser at the CIPD, explained that while the pandemic has had a “huge” impact on people and business, data shows that there hasn’t been a dramatic shift in job quality.

“Employers should not, though, see this as an opportunity to take their foot off the pedal. In fact, our report highlights that there is much work to do to close existing gaps and improve job quality across the board.”

Green believes a strong economic recovery post-pandemic is not just about more jobs, but better jobs too.

He added: “It may not be realistic to make all jobs great in all ways, but there are several dimensions to job quality and by being more creative with job design and HR practices, employers can and should make work better for everyone.”