Around 50 days of productive time per employee lost to poor wellbeing in 2023, study says

almost one day per week lost to poor wellbeing, study says

A new study found that around 50 days of productive time per employee were lost to poor physical and mental wellbeing in 2023.

Vitality’s recently-released Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey polled almost 5,000 employees at 59 workplaces. It found that on average, 43.6 days were lost to unproductive time in the workplace and 6.1 to sickness absence per employee.

Income was a significant factor in how many days were lost in this way. Those earning more than £150,000 lost 32.6 days of productive time. However, those earning between £20,000 to £30,000 lost averagely 61.6 days.

Respondents under hybrid working arrangements had lower lost productivity than those were solely workplace- or home-based.

The results also varied greatly by age. In the 18-25 age group, the number of days lost was particularly high at 60.6. Though these younger workers are more physically active, they were found to have a higher levels of mental illness. Around one in five (18.2%) of this group reported having experienced depression. This figure was much lower among the 61-65 age group at only 2.8%.

Lifestyle factors

The survey also explored the lifestyle of employees. Of all respondents, 58% disclosed that they were overweight and 28% obese. Poor diet was a common issue, reported by 56% of those surveyed. Another 37% reported a lack of physical activity.

Sleep was another common problem – 29% said they did not sleep enough and 22% said their sleep was of poor quality.

Hybrid working was also found to be the most beneficial for these lifestyle factors. Hybrid workers were found to be more active, less likely to obese and sleep better. They had better mental health and were less likely to experience burnout and depression.

Many of the companies surveyed did offer wellbeing support, and 85% of respondents said their health improved when they used them. However, only around 70% of those surveyed were aware that this support was available and a quarter had used them.

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