Personality and age play a large role in staff behaviour, and mindset at work says a new survey. Prompting calls for employers to adopt a more tailored approach to mental health and wellbeing for certain personality types and age brackets.
The survey of 2,000 UK workers by Aviva and Robertson Cooper also found that most (84%) employees said they would carry on working even if they felt unwell. More than half (53%) of workers aged 18 to 25 reported feeling some degree of anxiety during the pandemic than a national figure of 34% of workers across all age groups.
Commenting on the findings, Paul Zuidema, Managing Director EMEA at Ergotron, said: “With the impact of COVID-19 and the experience of the changes that 2020 brought, stakeholders try to predict what the balance should or will be in home, and office working, but frankly, there is no perfect answer.
“Working from our home makes us feel good, but our natural human need to socialise is coming under pressure. What we should continue to do is focus on the present and secure our physical and mental health. It is being proven that work can happen everywhere – we only need to support the most productive version. This year, employers and employees’ focus should turn to ensuring a safe, comfortable and productive environment.”
Despite the stereotype that introverts are happy to work alone, the analysis revealed that introverts are the most concerned that their workplace will not be enjoyable in the future (44% vs 32% of extroverts). Introverts are also most concerned about the security of their job (32% vs 25%), as well as their ability to juggle childcare and other family commitments (40% vs 28%).
A third of introverts (36%) are also concerned about not having enough face-to-face contact with colleagues, despite the rise of video conferencing calls.
Kathryn Barnes, Employment Counsel EMEA, Globalization Partners, added: “While we continue to navigate this shift to remote work – which for some will likely become a permanent transition – mental health needs to remain high on the agenda for employers. Mental health is a huge problem both in and outside of the office. Now is a good time for business leaders to put policies in place and practice what they preach.
“It is promising to see more companies nominating health and wellbeing champions, trained by advisors to help recognise and support employee wellbeing. There is a changing culture regarding mental health at work, but more work needs to be done. Organisations should embrace and encourage positive mental health initiatives and be supporting employees as best they can – not just during our current situation, but at all times in the future.”
“Promoting face-to-face coffee breaks, socially distanced catch-ups, and regular check-ins at work can go a long way towards promoting connectedness within any business setting. Companies who have regular video conferences are not only proven to be more productive, but help combat feelings of isolation, loneliness, and encourage open-conversations across the organisation.”
Young people remain the most affected throughout the survey which found that young people were more likely to rate their mental health as poor (17% compared to 11% across all age groups), with just under a quarter (24%) agreeing that working from home makes them feel less connected to co-workers.