National Worklife Week: What do employees want from their career?

This week marks National Worklife Week, a national event celebrated to raise awareness of workplace wellbeing and worklife balance. As we look beyond 2021, businesses must make employee wellbeing initiatives a focus. Providing access to health services, promoting work-life balance and career progression opportunities, are all steps employers can take to boost employee wellbeing.

As a result, businesses will benefit from a talented, resilient and motivated workforce.  

Employees are turning to Google for advice on coping with negative working environments

New research from Bupa UK found a drop in employee wellbeing and job satisfaction, with 34% of older workers (55-64) finding the workplace less inclusive when working remotely. Similarly, 17% of employees reported longer working hours resulted in a negative impact on their mental health.

Naomi Humber, Clinical Psychologist and Head of Mental Wellbeing at Bupa UK explains, “over the past year we have all faced uncertainty and change in our working lives, so it is no surprise many employees have experienced workplace health conditions such as, boreout, anxiety and presenteeism.

Negative work environments have a huge impact on employee wellbeing, job satisfaction and engagement. Before addressing factors that contribute to poor working environments, it is first important to understand the signs and symptoms of each condition”.

An analysis into our searching habits on Google found toxic workplace trends are on the rise:

357% increase in Google searches for ‘boreout’

Boreout is a negative workplace condition you experience when you feel as though your work is repetitive or doesn’t challenge your abilities enough and can often leave you feeling anxious, stressed, or fatigued.

With multiple lockdowns and for some decreased working hours it’s no surprise many employees have experienced boreout over the last year.

180% increase in Google searches for ‘imposter syndrome at work’

Imposter syndrome is a form of self-doubt. Often those who experience imposter syndrome are high achievers and find it difficult to accept their achievements and praise.

It is normal to experience feelings of self-doubt from time to time, especially when starting a new job or taking on a new responsibility. However, with the increase of remote working, national lockdowns and so much change to our working lives, the pressure to perform I all aspects of life have been amplified. As a result, many UK workers will have experienced imposter syndrome.

89% increase in Google searches for ‘anxiety at work’

Anxiety is a response to stress, stress and can leave you feeling, unsettled or worried about the future. Work anxiety can be caused by multiple factors such as job insecurity or a high workload.

Over the past year we have all faced uncertainty and change in our working lives, resulting in an increase in those experiencing anxiety in the workplace.

83% increase in Google searches for ‘presenteeism’

Presenteeism is a workplace phenomenon, where employees continue to work although they may be experiencing poor health. There are lots of things that can cause presenteeism. For example, an employee may not take sick leave as they can’t afford to take the time off work due to illness.

With a global pandemic causing a recession and job insecurity, it’s not surprising that absences for sickness were lower in 2020. However, encouraging them to take the time off to recover when they are ill, results in a healthy, engaged and productive team.

UK employees are actively searching for career development advice and tips

Bupa research also found employees are looking to progress their careers and develop their skill set:

  • 133% increase in Google searches for ‘positive work environment’
  • 60% increase in Google searches for ‘career development plan’
  • 69% increase in Google searches for ‘personal development goals’
  • 55% increase in Google searches for ‘job progression’

Career development supports employee wellbeing, resulting in an engaged and motivated team. Employers should look to coach and develop their team’s skillset, building on each employee’s individual strengths so they can reach their potential.

How can managers support their team with career development?

  1. Check in and provide regular feedback

Talk to your team about their role, find out any areas they enjoy as well as areas they’d like to progress – this will help you to support them in achieving their goals.

Similarly, set time aside for annual and quarterly reviews to help your team visualise their future with your business, as this will ensure your employees stay engaged and feel valued.

  1. Share new opportunities

Lead by example and share further learning opportunities with your team. For example, putting a member of your team forward to attend a learning session or industry networking event.

Further learning doesn’t have to be directly linked to your current role and may open you up to new opportunities for career progression and personal growth.

  1. Promote workplace wellbeing

When supporting employees with career development it is important to focus on various workplace wellbeing concerns such as boreout and anxiety which may impact on job satisfaction and the success of everyone to reach their potential.

Promote wellbeing initiatives such as worklife balance and access to healthcare to create a positive work environment and reduce the impact of work-related illnesses such as stress and presenteeism.

  1. Continue to pursue your own career goals

To be successful in supporting your team with developing their career, continue to set yourself new goals to achieve. Recognising your strengths and achievements and working towards new goals can help to boost your own self confidence. You can do this by, setting time aside to develop your own skillset, as this will help you to grow both professionally and personally.