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More than one-third of Britons seek workplace flexibility

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Corporate / Mental Health / United Kingdom

More than one-third of Britons seek workplace flexibility

LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ reveals nearly half of w orking Britons believe their CEO genuinely cares about employee wellbeing

LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital and in-person total wellbeing solutions, today released its monthly Mental Health Index™, revealing a negative mental health score among Britons for the 21st consecutive month. The overall mental health score for December 2021 was -11.9 compared to the pre-pandemic benchmark, a decline from the previous month (-11.0 in November 2021).

Working Britons believe full flexibility for all employees would work best for their team

  • Nearly two-in-five (38 per cent) Britons indicate that having the option of full flexibility – regarding days, hours and location – for everyone would be the best working model for their team. This compares to 17 per cent preferring that all employees are together at the worksite and 13 per cent preferring that all employees work fully remote.
  • Twenty-one per cent of respondents report that the most important type of flexibility is having the ability to step away from work to attend to personal issues.
  • When looking at other types of flexibility, 31 per cent of individuals report that hours of work is the most important and 28 per cent of individuals report that the location of work is the most important.
  • Nineteen per cent indicate that the most important types of work flexibility are days of work (17 per cent) and work attire (two per cent).

Comments from managing director, U.K. and Europe, Philip Mullen

“Since the onset of the pandemic, many organisations across the United Kingdom have transitioned to remote and hybrid work. Subsequently, working Britons have become accustomed to the flexibility of this new workplace model and are continuing to adjust according to their evolving needs. As we settle into the next stage of the pandemic, it is critical that employers take the time to understand employees’ flexibility needs. It is also essential that employers listen and provide a variety of options for mental health and wellbeing support.”

Many working Britons believe their organisation’s CEO genuinely cares about employee wellbeing

  • Nearly half (48 per cent) of Britons believe that their organisation’s CEO genuinely cares about employee wellbeing. This group has a mental health score of -7.3, more than four points above the national average.
  • In contrast, 20 per cent do not believe that their organisation’s CEO genuinely cares about employee wellbeing, and this group has a mental health score of -19.7, more than seven points below the national average. One-third (32 per cent) are undecided on their CEO’s position on wellbeing.
  • Managers are more than 40 per cent more likely than non-managers to believe that their organisation’s CEO genuinely cares about employee wellbeing.

Comments from global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen

“As many Britons continue to spend a significant portion of their lives working, mental health is just as important in the workplace as it is in employees’ personal lives. Whether working in person, remotely or a combination of the two, it is vital that all employees feel that their employer values their wellbeing. Employers can show appreciation of employees by providing meaningful support and creating an environment for open dialogue about wellbeing needs.”

The full U.K. LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ report can be found here. This month, the report includes additional insights on the impact of workplace models on teamwork, workplace collaboration during the pandemic, the impact of HR policies on employee wellbeing, mental health stigma and more.

Upcoming event: LifeWorks will be hosting Employers Connect virtually on Thursday, February 17 at 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. GMT. This year’s annual mental health summit will cover research from the Mental Health Index™, uncover workplace trends from the past year and answer the question, “now what?” Members of the media who are interested in attending should RSVP to

About the Mental Health Index

The monthly survey by LifeWorks was conducted through an online survey from December 3 and 14, 2021, with 2,000 respondents in the United Kingdom. All respondents reside in the United Kingdom and were employed within the last six months. The data has been statistically weighted to ensure the regional and gender composition of the sample reflect this population. The Mental Health Index™ is published monthly, beginning April 2020, and compares against benchmark data collected in 2017, 2018, 2019.

About LifeWorks

LifeWorks is a world leader in providing digital and in-person solutions that support the total wellbeing of individuals. We deliver a personalized continuum of care that helps our clients improve the lives of their people and by doing so, improve their business.


Heather MacDonald

Jennifer Farr
Kaiser & Partners

Source: LifeWorks