50% of India Inc employees have reported that an uncertain future is their topmost source of stress followed by Personal Finances (40%) and Career Growth (40%) as was revealed in a recently concluded survey by The7thFold, a boutique HR and Wellbeing firm. The high levels of stress that have emerged and continue to amongst India Inc employees during the ongoing lockdown is a huge area of concern.
Other sources of stress faced by employees were Self/Family Physical Health (32%), Work task and deadlines (31%), Self / Family Mental Health (25%), Performance Appraisal (22%), Social distancing / isolation (18%), Relationship issues (17%), Being laid off (16%) and Children’s Education (13%), Stress is the biggest trigger factor which impacts Mental and Physical Wellbeing. The lesser or the more managed the stress levels, the better the overall Wellbeing.
The7thFold’s Employee Wellbeing Survey, 2020 highlights the impact of the current pandemic on the mental and physical wellbeing of employees in India. The survey conducted in July and August with 509 respondents across metros cities and diverse sectors aimed to recognise the distress faced by employees during these uncertain times and understand the role of organisation support and benefits in the new normal.
Survey trends in the employee well-being space that emerged during COVID-19:
Age and Salary: Age had a positive correlation with mental wellbeing; those above 50 years of age (12%) outdid those who were below 40 years - 37% (30-40) 24% (less than 30 years). Employees below the salary of INR 5 lakhs were more vulnerable and reported personal finances (55%) and career prospects (53%) as their biggest sources of stress. 35% of employees with an annual salary of INR 21 – 30 lakhs p.a. reported burnout and poorest mental wellbeing scores.
Employment Status and Work Mode: Self-employed category is slightly better placed when it came to overall wellbeing as compared to others. 45% of employees working for an employer complained of Anxiety or Depression against 30% of those who were self-employed. 44% of employees working full-time from home reported feelings of anxiety. Boredom was least reported by those who worked fulltime from their workplace (26%).28% of work-from-home employees reported burnout with 48% feeling stressed due to task deadlines. 35% of employees working from home were worried about self/ family’s mental health. Mental Health of the unemployed was the worst. 47% of unemployed reported anxiety with 61% of them feeling stressed and 42% felt anger. 60% of unemployed showed stress regarding uncertainty of future & 61% for career growth. The blended model of working from home and workplace showed higher benefits than those employees who were full-time working from either home or workplace.
Employee benefits: Employees seemed happy with the support shown by their employers. 87% of employees have reported that their employer provides benefits for their Well-being. The biggest expectation versus reality gap is seen for ‘Increased insurance to cover COVID’. 47% of employees consider it as a Top Benefit, however only 18% of employers offer it. Employees provided with ‘Safe travel arrangements to work’ show a significantly better mental wellbeing score over others. Wellbeing of employees who received an Increment and Bonus is significantly higher than others. There were no significant differences in wellbeing seen between those who received a pay-cut and those who received an increment (no bonus). Interestingly, data suggests that offering employees a bonus and no increment was better for their wellbeing than offering an increment and no bonus.
“It is a well known fact that physical and mental wellbeing are correlated, one cannot be managed at the expense of the other. The work from home concept due to COVID-19 was literally adopted overnight by employers creating a whole new set of challenges for all stakeholders. Organisations will thus have to now move towards a holistic Employee Well-being Model which prioritizes both pillars of physical and mental health,” said Hamsaz Wadhwani, Founder and Chief Executive, The7thFold.