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Secrets to a happy office: How British employees really feel

Research from CABA, the charity that supports the wellbeing of chartered accountants, reveals exactly what Brits really want from their workplace

Keyword analysis by CABA, reveals that the phrase ‘workplace wellbeing’ is being searched up to 500 times per month by Brits*, but what does it really mean, and how does it impact the workplace?

Research from the charity highlighted that 74% of employees find their ability to concentrate is negatively affected by poor wellbeing. In addition, 2 thirds flagged that they were also less productive.

Above: Factors in the workplace that impact people’s wellbeing

Stress in the workplace was a common concern for employees, with more than 1 in 3 (36%) confessing they think about quitting their position on a regular basis. The employee research revealed that 13% of those surveyed are resorting to pulling a sickie to cope with stress, with the same (13%) admitting to feeling stressed at least once a day. In addition, 31% of respondents revealed they didn’t like work and when asked about their top complaints, not being paid enough and the lack of development in their current role, were the top gripes (9%).

what employees soldThe research also revealed that due to employer expectations and work pressures, employees miss at least 26 occasions or social events every year including gym classes, date nights, drinks with friends, and even weddings and birthdays.

Laura Little, Learning and Development manager at CABA commented: ‘Our research identified that struggling with poor wellbeing is not a small issue – it’s having a hugely negative impact on a large number of employees, both at work and home. Almost half (42%) of respondents said that as a result of poor wellbeing they have needed to take more sick days, whilst 58% have experienced reduced mental wellbeing and 54% have had more conflicts with their colleagues.

‘It’s imperative that we start taking people’s wellbeing seriously, otherwise it will be the business that pays the price. Having a strategy for employee wellbeing is no longer an optional extra – people not only need it more than ever before but they also expect it. Loyalty is a thing of the past, with research revealing that growth in job movers has risen to 10%, so employers need to make sure they’re doing everything they can to attract and retain the best talent.’

Employees highlighted that there were a variety of factors that they would like to see introduced into their workplace to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. Free healthy snacks/breakfasts topped the list (39%), followed closely by free gym-style exercise classes (25%), free mobility classes (25%) and regular access to a massage (25%).

Laura Little concluded: ‘Asking employees to provide feedback about what their company could do better not only makes them feel valued but could also provide important insight into how to get the best out of team members. Simple steps such as encouraging exercise can help to boost productivity and increase mental focus, making for a happier workforce. Investing in improving people’s wellbeing at work will be a welcome effort, likely to be rewarding for employees and employers alike.’