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Lockdown 3.0: Mental health impact reverberates but employees more prepared

  • Just a third (33%) of those working from home are accepting of lockdown, and one in five (22%) are anxious about it
  • Nearly two thirds (65%) of full-time workers from home feel more prepared this lockdown than previous ones


Research from Canada Life1 today reveals that lockdown is taking its toll on the state of the nation’s mental health however the effects are not being felt equally. Among those working from home, only a third (33%) are accepting of the national lockdown, while more than one in five (22%) are anxious about it. 


On the whole, the over 55s are significantly more upbeat than their younger counterparts; half (50%) are accepting of the lockdown, compared to just a quarter of those aged 18-34, and they are also more optimistic about the vaccine, with these figures standing at 40% and 20% respectively. 


The findings show that the strain of lockdown is impacting working women in particular, with many feeling either anxious (26%), worried (20%), depressed (21%) or stressed (19%) about the current rules. Men are also feeling the effects of lockdown, with one in five (19%), feeling anxious, 16% feeling worried, and a further 15% feeling depressed. 


Despite this, the majority (65%) of full-time workers from home feel more prepared for the current lockdown than previous ones. One of the ways in which they are doing this is by accessing support services, whether that be strengthening relationships with family and friends (26%), starting to use mindfulness/meditation apps (16%) or using more support from workplace schemes (15%). 


The research finds that 18-34 year olds were more than twice (69%) as likely to use a support service to cope better mentally during the first lockdown than over 55s (32%).  This is being repeated in their plans for the current lockdown, with these figures standing at 78% for 18-34 year olds compared to just 34% of over 55s.


Dan Crook, Protection Sales Director, Canada Life, comments: “It’s no surprise that the effects of a third national lockdown and a year of restrictions has left its mark on the mental health of the nation. With no clear end date in sight, many UK workers are undoubtedly feeling the effects, whether that be stress or anxiety related. 


“There is no blueprint, or guide on how to protect your mental health through a pandemic so it’s really important that employers understand the role they play in supporting their workforce. With many of us working from home the potential for employees to feel isolated or overwhelmed is heightened and it’s therefore encouraging that people are now feeling more confident in dealing with this lockdown.


“Support for many may be as simple as taking the time to speak to family, colleagues and friends or turning to virtual services such as mindfulness apps and workplace support. It’s extremely encouraging to see that uptake for these coping mechanisms has increased as people look to better equip themselves with the help and guidance they need. It’s equally important that employers highlight such support where possible and raise awareness of it among their workforce, whether that be access to virtual GP services, mental health or burnout prevention, or even nutrition and health coaching.”


  1. This research was conducted by Opinium between 19th and 21st January 2021 with a sample of 2000 adults.