Tech staff join marketers in coronavirus ‘mental hell’

mental healthIt seems that marketers are not alone in being at breaking point during the pandemic, tech professionals are also struggling to get to grips with new ways of working and are in need of wellbeing support as the UK economy starts to open up.

So says a new study by Westfield Health, “Coping after Covid”, which reveals that a fifth (20%) of tech staff are struggling to get to grips with new ways of working and over a third (34%) are getting anxious about work.

While more than two-fifths (44%) of tech professionals felt their mental health had declined during the pandemic, financial services workers were most likely to be in Covid “mental hell”.

Over half (52%) said their mental health had worsened in the past year, followed by manufacturing (48%), professional services (47%) and construction (46%).

When asked what they would like to see from their employer in the next few months to improve their mental health, tech workers asked for extra wellbeing support (33%), mental health support (30%) and long-term changes to the way they work (40%).

The report claims that wellbeing-enhanced productivity could add up to £61bn to the UK economy by 2025, if firms can create effective wellbeing strategies and improve underperforming ones.

Westfield Health chief executive Dave Capper said: “There are hundreds of thousands of wellbeing programmes out there that aren’t giving the most they can to their companies. And as the world of business begins to pick up the pace again, it has never been more pressing to make sure that companies take it upon themselves to care for the mental and physical wellbeing of their employees.

“To create a successful wellbeing strategy, we must continue to personalise policies and recognise different individual requirements. In the past 12 months, some have thrived while others have struggled. The different experiences for parents, those on furlough, single people isolating alone, or any number of situations has created a workforce that is united by its division and businesses must prepare for that.

“This data provides boardrooms with a powerful argument for investing time to getting wellbeing right as a core, strategic element to strengthen a company. Happier workers, better retention rates, and higher productivity are outcomes that all businesses want, and wellbeing is crucial to achieving that.”

Last month, a separate study by Sitecore revealed that marketers have been stretched to the limit during the pandemic, with their mental wellbeing also being severely affected.

The study quizzed over 400 UK marketers across all levels of seniority, and found that over half (58%) stated that work negatively impacted their mental health, with senior marketers more affected than their junior colleagues (61% compared to 51%). Layoffs, furloughs and redundancies hit the teams of 30% of UK marketers.

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