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Nearly one-quarter of Britons report that work hinders their mental wellbeing


LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ reveals workplace relationships have deteriorated since before the pandemic

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital total wellbeing solutions, today released its monthly Mental Health Index™, revealing a negative mental-health score among Britons for the 19th consecutive month.

Key findings:

  • Overall mental-health score of -10.6 compared to the pre-pandemic benchmark, a slight decline from the previous month.
  • Nearly one-quarter (24 per cent) of Britons reported that work has hindered their mental wellbeing during the pandemic, an increase from 22 per cent before the pandemic. This group has a mental-health score more than 11 points below the national average.
  • Twenty per cent of respondents reported that they feel in crisis or have concerns about their ability to cope. These groups have mental-health scores more than 23 points below the national average.

Younger Britons, parents and managers are experiencing feelings of crisis and inability to cope with mental health concerns at a disproportionate rate:

  • Thirty-five per cent of individuals under 40 indicate that they feel in crisis or have concerns about their mental health and their ability to cope, while only 12 per cent of individuals 50 and older report the same.
  • Parents are twice as likely as non-parents to indicate that they feel in crisis or have concerns about their mental health and their ability to cope.
  • Managers are more than 60 per cent more likely than non-managers to report the same concerns.

Comments from managing director, U.K. and Europe, Philip Mullen

Britons’ mental health continues to be a major concern both inside and outside of the workplace, with many approaching a point of crisis or felling unable to cope. As many regions across the country continue to experience pandemic-driven uncertainty due to changing reopening plans, our research demonstrates that ongoing support at the individual level is critical to ensure that employees feel supported physically, socially, financially as well as mentally. The wellbeing of employees has direct implications on business results. The organisations that prioritise investments in employee wellbeing will be the most successful in both the short- and long-term.”

Deteriorating workplace relationships have impacted mental health, isolation productivity:

  • Ten per cent of respondents report their experiences with work peers have not been positive since the onset of the pandemic, an increase of three per cent since before the pandemic. This group has the least favourable mental-health score (-25.4).
  • Respondents who indicate their experiences with their work peers have not been positive since the pandemic began also report an isolation score 13 points below the national average.
  • Thirteen per cent of respondents report that their experiences with their manager have not been positive since the pandemic began, an increase of two per cent since before the pandemic. This group has a productivity score more than nine points below the national average.

Comments from global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen

The relation between employees and their managers has been strained during the pandemic, given the strains on each and the changes in the manager of interaction. It is important to realise that this relationship is a major factor in employees’ work experience and wellbeing. Organisations can help with tools and training for managers, and supports that help each party deal with their respective strains. Retention and employee wellbeing are more connected now than ever before.”

The full U.K. LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ report can be found here. This month, the report includes additional insights on the impact of work on mental wellbeing, deteriorating physical wellbeing and more.

About the Mental Health Index

The monthly survey by LifeWorks was conducted through an online survey from October 6 and 12, 2021, with 2,000 respondents in the United Kingdom. All respondents reside in the United Kingdom and were employed within the last six months. The data has been statistically weighted to ensure the regional and gender composition of the sample reflect this population. The Mental Health Index™ is published monthly, beginning April 2020, and compares against benchmark data collected in 2017, 2018, 2019.

About LifeWorks

LifeWorks is a world leader in providing digital and in-person solutions that support the total wellbeing of individuals. We deliver a personalized continuum of care that helps our clients improve the lives of their people and by doing so, improve their business.



Heather MacDonald



Angela Pinzon

Kaiser & Partners