Manufacturing workers see decline in mental health during pandemic

1 min read

Almost half (48%) of manufacturing workers say their mental health has suffered during the pandemic, according to research by Westfield Health.

The study, titled Coping after Covid, warns that manufacturing workers are struggling to get to grips with new ways of working and are in need of wellbeing support as the UK economy starts to open up.

The report also found that wellbeing-enhanced productivity could add £61bn to the English economy by 2025, if companies can create effective wellbeing strategies and improve underperforming ones.

While all of the sectors saw workers suffer a reduction in their mental health since the start of the pandemic, financial services workers were most likely to be affected. Over half (52%) said their mental health had worsened in the last year, followed by manufacturing (48%), professional services (47%), construction (46%) and communications (44%).

When asked what they would like to see from their employer in the next few months to improve their mental health, manufacturing workers asked for extra extra mental (24%) and physical (24%) health support as well as wellbeing support (22%).

As a result, the corporate wellbeing provider is encouraging businesses to examine their wellbeing programmes to achieve the benefits that other HR leaders are getting.

Dave Capper, CEO of Westfield Health (pictured), said: “This past year has shown that the recovery of the UK economy will rely on the health and wellbeing of its people. The findings from our research highlight that when wellbeing is done right it can directly improve a business.

“There are hundreds of thousands of wellbeing programmes out there that aren’t giving the most they can to their companies. And as the world of business begins to pick up the pace again, it has never been more pressing to make sure that construction firms take it upon themselves to care for the mental and physical wellbeing of their employees.

“To create a successful wellbeing strategy, we must continue to personalise policies and recognise different individual requirements. In the past 12 months, some have thrived whereas others have struggled. The different experiences for parents, those on furlough, single people isolating alone, or any number of situations has created a workforce that is united by its division and businesses must prepare for that.

“This data provides boardrooms with a powerful argument for investing time to getting wellbeing right as a core, strategic element to strengthen a company. Happier workers, better retention rates, and higher productivity are outcomes that all construction businesses want, and wellbeing is crucial to achieving that.”