Employee wellbeing levels drop since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic

Wellbeing among employeesWellbeing levels among employees have dropped since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, falling from 73% in 2020 to 66% in 2023, according to employee engagement expert Inpulse.

Insights from 30,000 employees across the UK and Europe formulated Inpulse’s Wellbeing index, which measures five core elements of wellbeing: work-life balance, support, workload, connection and mental health, scoring them between 0 to 100%. It highlighted that wellbeing levels dropped to 66% in 2021 and then 64% in 2022.

The figures also revealed that more than one-third of respondents do not have a high wellbeing index score, with employees over the age of 35 having a five-points higher score than those under 34 years.

As many as 70% of employees in 2023 felt part of a supportive community at work, down from 79% in 2020. Those who feel supported are almost three times more engaged at work;only 28% who do not feel supported by their line manager are engaged at work, and 81% of engaged employees feel supported by their line manager.

More than two-thirds (68%) felt that their line manager cared about them in 2023, versus 79% in 2020. Despite this, awareness and use of wellbeing support and tools was higher in 2023 (80%) than in 2020 (77%).

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Matt Stephens, chief executive officer of Inpulse, said: “Over the last few years we’ve seen employers throw millions into wellbeing apps, benefits and various activities, but it’s clear without insights and appropriate strategy, they can’t move the dial. A large problem that we’re seeing is that people are more likely to feel not cared about or supported, which likely shows a lack of authenticity from line managers in truly connecting with their employees.

“Line managers need some understanding and support, they are an immensely pressured group in organisations today. HR and managers need to think carefully before applying the same set of principles across the entire workforce. Trusting employees to do their jobs and providing support are key elements of the line manager role and have the greatest impact on how engaged people are at work. People need to find a sense of purpose in order to be happier, more resilient and more successful, positively contributing to society and the environment.”