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Worsening emotional and social wellbeing takes toll on productivity

Health and Benefits|Talent|Bienestar integral
COVID 19 Coronavirus

February 9, 2021

Lack of social connections and intensifying mental health challenges among employees raise concerns. How can employers make a positive impact?
Worsening emotional and social wellbeing takes toll on productivity - description below
  1. 01

    Mental health challenges and declining social connections raise concerns

    Employees struggle with: worsening social connections 42%; mental health challenges 29%; and deteriorating financial situations 24%.

    36% are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression: 3X as likely to have addictive habits, 40% more likely to be disengaged, 47% report low social wellbeing

    Certain segments are struggling more than others

  2. 02

    Which employees are suffering the most from severe stress, anxiety or depression since the pandemic began?

    • 65% of Gen Z, 4X more likely than baby boomers
    • 55% of LGBT+, 2X more likely than heterosexuals
    • 66% of those with significant disabilities, over 2X more likely than those with no disabilities
    Financially struggling employees

    57% of those living paycheck to paycheck have suffered in the past 2 years

    Who is living paycheck to paycheck?: 37% employees overall, 42% of Gen Z

  3. 03

    Disconnectedness affects productivity and engagement

    • Highly engaged: 32% - disconnected, 42% - connected
    • Presenteeism (equivalent days lost per year): 21 days disconnected, 9.8 days – connected
    • Suffering from anxiety or depression: 50% - disconnected, 21% - connected.

    Which employees are feeling disconnected?: 51% of Gens Y and Z, 55% of LGBT+ , 56% of those working from home MORE than pre-pandemic

    Employees currently working from home: 68% say it helps achieve better work/life balance, but 2 in 5 say distractions make it difficult to focus (38%), and they worry it will have a negative impact on career development (39%)

  4. 04

    Strong social connections at work make a difference

    Percentage less likely to suffer from severe stress, anxiety or depression

    • LGBT+ -16%
    • Significant disabilities -8%
    • Younger employees (Gens Y and Z) -11%

    28% of employees who ENGAGE SOCIALLY have improved mental / emotional health vs. just 11% of those not socially active.

  5. 05

    Employees with improved mental/emotional health have more favorable view of employer actions

    Of those that said their mental/emotional health was better during the pandemic responded: 71% - my employer sincerely cared about my wellbeing, 71% - my employer listened to how I needed support, 75% - my employer communicated effectively. Of those that said their mental/emotional health was worse during the pandemic responded: 50% - my employer sincerely cared about my wellbeing, 42% - my employer listened to how I needed support, 57% - my employer communicated effectively.

    Percentages based on those who responded “Agree” or “Strongly agree”

Call to action for employers: Design integrated programs linking social and emotional health to other aspects of wellbeing; offer wellness days, boost listening efforts, and improve onsite and online access to mental health professionals

Source: Willis Towers Watson 2020 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, U.S.

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