42% of employees desire less work-related stress in 2021

workplace stress

Just under half (42%) of employees wish to experience less stress at work during 2021, according to research by PayFit.

Its report, How UK HR priorities have evolved during the pandemic, which surveyed 2,002 UK workers, also found that 85% have experienced work-related worries since the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic took hold in March 2020. Since then, just over a fifth (21%) said that they have worked longer hours, leading to difficulties in maintaining or achieving a good work-life balance. In addition, 18% said they do not feel motivated while working remotely and 17% do not enjoy working remotely and miss day-to-day human contact. However, the research also found that 17% of respondents are not yet ready to return to the office, stating that it is not safe to do so.

Looking ahead to 2021, more than a third of respondents (35%) would like to know if there is the potential for pay or bonus opportunities, while 28% would like better job security. In addition, a quarter would like the opportunity to work more flexible hours.

Caroline Leroy, chief people and fulfilment officer at PayFit, said: “At the beginning of the year, our report showed that overall employee wellbeing, followed by learning and development opportunities, and pay policy, was the main challenge for HR professionals.

“The new survey results show the importance of transparency and communication during times of crisis. HR leaders have to take responsibility and make sure their employees feel safe and well-informed about [organisational] results.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, job security has a direct impact on employees’ mental health and wellbeing, which, in turn, can seriously impact the overall business success.

“Whether it is job security, increased pressure, long hours, or challenges relating to remote working, employees’ mental health should be a top priority for business leaders in 2021.”