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46


SECTOR VIEW HEALTH AND WELLBEING


WORKING TOWARDS A HEALTHIER FUTURE


Special report by Tim Aldred


It has long been understood that most employees want more in return for their hard work and company loyalty than just a pay cheque.


However, the global Covid-19 pandemic and months of strict lockdown have demonstrated just how important it is for employers to care for the individuals who make up their workforce.


A new study commissioned by Benenden Health revealed that more than half of North West workers would seek out a new job if their mental wellbeing was not being supported by their employer.


One-third of companies reported that they had lost an employee for this reason, and a majority of those said it was a valuable member of the team that had left.


Through its Centre for SME Development, the University of Central Lancashire has been studying health and wellbeing in the workplace, including the effects of the lockdown and the


decision by many businesses to make remote- working a long-term change.


While many imagined that the opportunity to work in pyjamas while forgoing a stressful commute would improve job satisfaction, it has not been without negative consequences, such as the blurring of the line between work-life and home-life.


Employers are much


more open and engaging on matters relating to mental health


Professor Sue Smith, director of the centre, says: “The impact of isolation and mental health is a particularly worrying, and not entirely unexpected trend.


IN ASSOCIATION WITH:


“The technology used for homeworking cannot substitute for face-to-face interaction and whilst not impacting negatively on productivity, long-term homeworking can damage creativity at work.”


It is one of the reasons that The Landmark in Burnley has seen such a large up-tick in demand over the last year. Claire Rhodes, the manager of the business hub and co-working space, says: “Our members and tenants have  working from here.


 of being amongst people, and also many have found it challenging to maintain productivity amid the distractions of working in a domestic setting.


“There may be the challenges of home- schooling, and it is unlikely the home would have our ultrafast internet connections throughout the building. These things are all a source of stress.”


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