Wellbeing in the Workplace: Our Latest Findings and How We Can Help Your Business
Whilst many companies are promoting mental wellbeing and are introducing measures that provide greater flexibility to their workforce, stress still – unfortunately – does exist, and many people are tackling heavy workloads that often mean that they neglect their annual leave allowance, avoid taking sick days when they need them, and experience stress and feelings of being overwhelmed at work.
We work with a range of businesses and solo entrepreneurs and help them to free up their time by handling their customer interactions, but that isn’t the only benefit that our service has. Because of this free time, our clients can then enjoy a work-life balance, and it also minimises the risks of feeling overwhelmed and stressed at work. As such, wellbeing in the workplace is something that we’re always keen to research and talk about.
With that in mind, our data analysts have investigated wellbeing in the workplace by conducting a survey with over 2000 respondents. This survey looked at the industries that these people worked in. It then delved deeper into how much annual leave and sick leave they took, their working arrangements, productivity, and reasons for feeling stressed and overwhelmed. In this blog, we’ll discuss our findings and discuss what this suggests about wellbeing in the workplace.
If you’re already interested in reaping the benefits of our services, including minimising stress and improving your customer service, then we’d love to hear from you.
Wellbeing in the Workplace: Our Findings
Annual Leave & Sick Leave
When it comes to maintaining a work-life balance, many see taking annual leave as a way to distance themselves from work and spend their time doing something else that they enjoy, such as taking a holiday to unwind or spending time with family. Yet, according to our survey, not everyone takes advantage of their annual leave allowance, and self-employed workers are especially bad for not taking time off! We found that 45% of self-employed workers haven’t taken any annual leave in the past 12 months, compared to 6% of full-time workers who didn’t take any time off either within the same period.
As such, the difference between these two groups is staggering. However, it’s important to note that, because self-employed workers usually have full control over their working arrangements, they might not have a set amount of ‘annual leave’ to take, and instead adjust their working hours around any days off that they want or need to take. Another possibility is that the self-employed do work more hours and across more days, especially given that people running their own businesses will find it harder to switch off and distance themselves from work.
The other type of leave also associated with wellbeing at work is sick days – employees appreciate feeling like they can take a sick day whenever required if they are not well enough to work. We found that 48% of full-time employees haven’t taken a sick day in the past 12 months, with 67% of our self-employed respondents also not taking any sick leave during that same time period (these statistics don’t include any time taken for COVID-19/self-isolation).
Of course, it might be that employees are well enough to work and therefore don’t have to take sick leave. As well as this, with many companies now increasing their flexibility and allowing employees to work from home, it might be that they do log on from home as opposed to making the commute to the workplace whilst unwell. Regarding the self-employed, given that they have complete control over their working hours, it might be that many just adjust their working times and work once they are feeling better, or they swap a working day in the week to catch up at the weekends.
Working Schedules & Productivity
As a part of our survey, we also looked into stress and productivity at work. This has been particularly interesting given the changes to working arrangements in most workplaces, with many adopting a hybrid working model either due to the COVID-19 pandemic or because they want to become more flexible. From our respondents…
- 31% of people work from the office for all of their working hours.
- 28% have a hybrid-working model.
- 22% work from home for all of their working hours.
- 19% don’t usually work in an office environment.
Whilst the majority of people do work from the office full-time, this is only by a small margin as nearly just as many people now split their time between the office and working remotely.
We all work in different ways and have different levels of concentration in different working environments, which is evident in our findings. According to our survey, 37% of workers feel that they are most productive when working in the office, and 28% feel like they can focus more when they’re working from home. Interestingly, 20% of people feel as though their productivity is the same in both environments.
As well as looking at working arrangements when considering productivity and factors that affect it, we also looked into the lunch breaks that employees take. Regular breaks are known to aid productivity, so taking a lunch break is always highly recommended. The standard lunch break for most companies is at least half an hour, with many encouraging employees to take an hour. However, our survey found that the majority of people take 16 to 30 minutes for their lunch break, with only 18% taking 46 minutes to an hour. On the flip side, 14% of survey respondents take just 15 minutes or less for their lunch break.
Feeling Stressed at Work
When looking at mental wellbeing in the workplace, analysing stress levels – and why people get stressed at work – is crucial. After all, stress can have an impact on workplace performance, and if multiple members of staff are stressed then it can affect the working environment and workplace culture. As such, our survey looked into work-related stress and how often the respondents experienced these feelings due to work.
Only 5% of our respondents said that they always feel overwhelmed or stressed at work but, worryingly, this equates to 105 of the people asked. The majority of our respondents said that they felt overwhelmed or stressed some of the time – this equates to 44% of our respondents/875 people. As well as this, 19% of our respondents (389 people) said that they felt overwhelmed or stressed most of the time at work. This means that 68% of our respondents feel some level of stress whilst working, which is sure to have some kind of impact on their mental health too.
The source of this stress varies according to our findings, with respondents feeling overwhelmed by a range of different factors including their working hours (17%), managing deadlines (16%), having distractions in the office (15%) and managing relationships with their manager (14%) and their colleagues (13%). However, there are three reasons for stress that are much more commonplace than others, according to our survey. These are feeling overwhelmed with workload (29%), managing their work-life balance (27%), and feeling overwhelmed with calls, emails, texts, and any other work-related messages (21%).
These three top reasons for stress can all be mitigated though, and aren’t a guarantee. Things can be done to prevent these feelings, such as giving staff the right access to training, managing calendars and workloads more effectively, and delegating tasks where possible. Not only can these steps reduce the likelihood of work-related mental health issues and promote a happier workforce/workplace wellbeing, but they can improve organisation, productivity, and help workers – both remote workers and those in the office – to have a more positive experience at work and within their role.
As a part of our research, we spoke to HR experts, Eden Mayers, who identified where employees need to focus their efforts and energy to avoid feelings of stress at work. They also emphasised the importance of time management and open communication channels:
“It’s really important to prioritise the tasks that you have if you’re feeling overwhelmed. For example, you could use the urgent vs important matrix – this will help to identify where to focus your energy and what tasks could be delegated, ditched or automated. Once you know what the pressing tasks are, turn off your email and notifications and focus on one at a time.
“Should you find that you are struggling with getting everything done on time or you get asked to do other things by your manager, use the matrix to show your priorities and ask what you should prioritise to get the new task completed.
“Employees need to identify what is making them stressed at work and ask for support. If it’s related to working relationships with others, speak to HR or your manager. Likewise, if it’s the volume of work, gather the evidence and have a frank conversation with your manager, with HR present if necessary.
“If your company has Mental Health First Aiders, talk to them. They may be able to signpost you to places to get support. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your employer, go and see your GP. Don’t bottle it up.”
Working with alldayPA
Given that the most common reasons for workplace stress are managing workloads, managing a work-life balance, and feeling overwhelmed with communication such as emails, calls, and texts, our service is the ideal solution. We can help businesses that are looking to relieve the pressure on their employees, as well as solo entrepreneurs that want to give themselves a helping hand. By using our telephone answering service – or any of our other additional services – you can easily lighten the load for yourself and your team, including those that work remotely.
Here at alldayPA, our main offering is our call handling service, which is delivered on a subscription model. We help clients in a range of industries from marketing and PR to finance, IT support, property, and so much more. We tailor our services to each business and its needs, and we consistently strive to deliver an amazing service that keeps your customers happy too! Better still, by letting us handle your customer interactions, you can free up time to handle other important business matters. This also gives you more time to enjoy a work-life balance, as well as less reasons to feel overwhelmed whilst at work. This, in turn, can help you to be more productive!
Looking to Reduce Stress Levels and Elevate Your Customer Service? Get in Touch with Us Today!
It’s clear in this blog that teams are increasingly under pressure, with stress levels rising for a variety of reasons such as managing a workload, a work-life balance, and communications with both customers and colleagues. Here at alldayPA, our team are on hand to help you lighten your workload, so that you can use your time elsewhere – you might decide to spend this time on other important tasks, such as holding various business meetings, or you might use it to ensure that your work-life balance is healthy. Whatever your reason for reaching out to us, our telephone answering service and other outsourced customer service solutions are on hand to ensure that you’re not just minimising your own stress but keeping your customers satisfied too.
To learn more about our services – including our telephone answering service, email management, live chat management, and social media enquiry management – you can visit our Business Call Answering Packages page or give our team a call if you have any questions.