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Survey shows many remote workers concerned about their mental health

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Stressed remote worker
Photo: Drazen Zigic/iStockphoto

Hartford, CT — Thirty-three percent of people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic are concerned about their mental health, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by health benefits provider Aetna International.

The online survey of 4,011 employees and 1,007 employers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates also found that, since the onset of the pandemic:

  • Stress (32%) and weight gain (43%) are the top health concerns.
  • 74% of all workers – including 88% of those ages 18-24 – say poor mental health has impacted their productivity.
  • 84% of workers agree that their mental health is more important now than it was a year ago.
  • 40% of employers say they’re concerned that a lack of social interaction among colleagues will have a long-term negative impact on some workers’ mental health.
  • 61% of workers want to return to the office full time within six months, while 81% say they would return if they still can work remotely for part of the week.

“The pandemic has challenged businesses across the globe in myriad ways, not least of which is to reconsider their leadership, management and communication policies, along with their approach to employee health and well-being,” Aetna International President Richard di Benedetto said in a press release. “It has also put unparalleled pressures on employees to remain productive while balancing lockdowns, child care, finances and concerns around contracting COVID-19.

 

“Forward-thinking organizations are leading with compassion and developing a corporate culture that puts well-being at its center, ensuring employees know what support is available to them, whether that’s locally, at home or in the palm of their hand.”

Researchers suggested various strategies for employers to support workers’ mental health, including providing access to personalized health care and embracing flexible work arrangements.

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