IES Working at Home Wellbeing Survey

Interim Findings

Bevan S, Mason B, Bajorek Z |   | Institute for Employment Studies (IES) | Apr 2020

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IES is pleased to announce the launch of interim findings from the first COVID-19 homeworker wellbeing study, looking at how working from home for an extended period is affecting the UK workforce. 

The interim findings from the IES Working at Home Wellbeing Survey conducted during the first two weeks of the ‘lockdown’ have been analysed to produce a preliminary picture of how homeworking is affecting both the physical and mental wellbeing of a new army of UK homeworkers.  Please download the .pdf at the bottom of this page for interim collated survey response data and advice for employers. 

Headline statistics include:

  • There has been a significant increase in musculoskeletal complaints. More than half of the survey respondents reported new aches and pains, especially in the neck (58 per cent), shoulder (56 per cent) and back (55 per cent), compared to their normal physical condition. 

  • Diet and exercise are on the wane with one fifth (20 per cent) of respondents admitting to an increase in alcohol consumption, while a third (33 per cent) are eating a less healthy diet, and over half (60 per cent) acknowledging that they are exercising less. 

  • Poor sleep and increased risk of exhaustion are also cause for concern. The majority of respondents reported a loss of sleep due to worry (64 per cent); and corresponding increased symptoms of fatigue (60 per cent), possibly as a consequence of nearly half (48 per cent) reporting working patterns that include long and irregular hours.  

  • The mental health of survey respondents depicts a workforce with a lot on its mind. Half of all respondents (50 per cent) reported not being happy with their current work-life balance; a third (33 per cent) frequently feel isolated, over a fifth (21 per cent) are worried about job security, while just under half (41 per cent) harbour health concerns for family members.

The interim findings have been drawn from the initial 500 respondents to the survey. The IES Working at Home Wellbeing Survey remains open for the duration of April - do please take the time to particpate. IES researchers will frequently monitor the results to track changes in working patterns.