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Two in five employees are struggling to form strong relationships with their colleagues

  • Over a third (36%) say they don’t have the same emotional connection with their colleagues as they did prior to the pandemic  
  • Just short of half (49%) say seeing their colleagues improves their mental health
  • Over a quarter (26%) of employees say their company has not implemented further mental health support since the pandemic outbreak

 

As employers across the country adapt their working policies and look to bring their employees back to the office, research from Canada Life1 finds that two in five (40%) employees are struggling to form strong relationships with their colleagues. 

 

Even though half (49%) say seeing their colleagues improves their mental health, over a third (36%) say they don’t have the same emotional connections with colleagues as they did prior to the pandemic. This figure increases to 45% for 18-34 year olds, and decreases to 20% for those aged 55 and over. 

 

The findings also reveal the impact working from home during the pandemic has had on mental health. 

One in six (16%) say their mental health has deteriorated as a result of home working. This figure increases to 19% for those aged 18-34 and 12% for those aged 55 and over.  Additionally, over a quarter (28%) say loneliness is an issue in the workplace. 

 

Despite this deterioration in employee mental health as a result of home working, concerningly over a quarter (26%) of employees say their company has not implemented further mental health support since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Dan Crook, Protection Sales Director, Canada Life, comments: “For two years many of us were forced to work from home or unable to work at all and employers need to recognise the strains that this will have had, and continues to have on employee interactions and relationships. As employers look to bring their employees back to the workplace on a part or full-time basis, it’s vital they recognise the challenges that their employees might face in having to reconnect with their colleagues on a face-to-face basis.

 

“Employers need to lead and set by example, providing employees with flexibility as to how they can work so they can manage their relationships and personal wellbeing. By fostering a culture of flexibility into their workforce will in turn allow employers to attract new, and retain existing talent, and ultimately create a happy and healthy workplace.“

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

1 Research conducted by Opinium among 2000 UK adults between 10-13 May 2022