Lockdown leads workers feeling more anxious and less satisfied with life

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Lockdown has led to a drop in life satisfaction and a rise in anxiety among Britain’s workforce, research has found.

Remote working and the increasingly blurred relationship between bosses and employees has led to many neglecting their physical health and has created unease, according to a survey of workers carried out by Aviva.

About 58 per cent of employees told the insurer that they had prioritised work over their physical health — up from 53 per cent from the same survey in February last year. Researchers found 86 per cent of respondents have been checking emails outside of working hours.

Meanwhile the proportion of employees who are completely satisfied with life has dropped by 10 percentage points, falling from 67 per cent in February 2020 to 57 per cent in March 2021.

The number of workers feeling anxious day-to-day has increased from 22 per cent in August 2020 to 27 per cent in March this year.

Aviva surveyed 2,000 UK employees working in organisations with more than 1,000 employees. It was carried out in February and August 2020 and this March.

Debbie Bullock, wellbeing lead at Aviva said: “We are living through an ‘age of ambiguity’ that is impacting society and workplaces across the UK.

“Elements of our lives which were previously certain are overlapping and changing beyond recognition. The concept of work itself is becoming increasingly fluid as the world evolves faster than ever before.”

She said “unpredictable futures” were placing a strain on the balance between work and home life.

Bullock urged employers to tackle the problem, adding: “By promoting healthier habits and incremental shifts in attitudes and actions, we can empower people to make informed and positive career and lifestyle choices.”

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