65% of employees say work has a negative impact on their mental health

Covid-19 has worsened the mental health for 43% of employees

Just under two-thirds (65%) of employees say work has a negative impact on their mental health, according to research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Its survey of 6,000 employees found this was up by 9% from its previous survey in 2018, which found that just over half (56%) of respondents mental health was negatively impacted by the working environment.

Just over two-thirds (69%) of respondents who are feeling anxious cited their job as a contributing factor and more than half (58%) who are suffering depression said the same was true.

Additionally, over one in five (22%) feel exhausted, 21% feel under excessive pressure, and one in 10 (11%) feel miserable.

Furthermore, just under a third (32%) said their workload is too much in a normal week, while 24% find it hard to relax in their personal time because of work.

The CIPD also surveyed an additional 1,001 employees in relation to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and found that one in five (22%) of employees are anxious they will lose their jobs, 43% cited the pandemic as a contributing factor or has made their mental health condition worse, with a further 29% finding the pandemic increasing their anxiety.

Jonny Gifford, senior research adviser at the CIPD, said: “Even before the Coronavirus pandemic struck, work was becoming worse for our health. This is the complete opposite of how it should be; work can and should have a positive impact on people’s lives.

“As the full scale of the economic crisis unfolds, the outlook looks even bleaker. We’ll likely see employers trying to do more with less, which will only increase people’s workload and the pressure they are already under. Many people will also be worried about losing their job or living on a reduced income.

“While the government is right to focus on protecting as many jobs as possible, it should also be encouraging employers to look at job quality. Not only is there a moral imperative to do so, but if people are happy and healthy in their jobs they also perform better, take less time off and are less likely to drop out of the workforce. In the long run, this will help us get on the road to economic recovery sooner.”