Healthcare workers’ mental health deteriorating under pandemic demands
A new survey confirms that long hours, low pay and high expectations brought about by the coronavirus pandemic are contributing to deteriorating levels of mental health among the UK’s deskless healthcare workforce
New research from workforce management expert, Quinyx, reveals that the impact of coronavirus on jobs is compounding poor mental health among deskless workers in the healthcare sector.
The survey shows that 42 per cent of deskless workers in healthcare said that their job negatively impacted their mental health in the last 12 months versus 38 per cent of all deskless workers surveyed. Since the outbreak, more than half of deskless healthcare workers (54 per cent) say that coronavirus has made this worse.
The long hours required to fight the pandemic is a key contributor. Prior to the pandemic, working extremely long hours was one of the main reasons that half (49 per cent) of the deskless healthcare workforce who suffered poor mental health over the last 12 months as a result of work did so. In the current crisis, with a stretched national workforce, more than a quarter (26 per cent) of deskless workers in the healthcare sector have reported having to work over 40 hours a week – more than in any other deskless industry polled.
Potential underlying anxieties around pay and employer expectations also seem to be playing a role. Prior to the outbreak, 42 per cent# of deskless healthcare workers who suffered poor mental health over the last 12 months as a result of their job cited low pay as being one of the main reasons. Around 37 per cent cited the expectations of their managers being too high.
The research also revealed that prior to the pandemic, more than half (53 per cent) of deskless healthcare workers who felt that their job negatively impacted their mental health over the last 12 months did so because they felt that they were not appreciated for the work they do. With the spotlight being shone on the vital work healthcare workers are doing to help battle coronavirus, this factor may have been temporarily relieved; 72 per cent of healthcare workers say that they believe that their employer values the work they do during the crisis.
Daniel Holmberg, Sales Manager UK & International at Quinyx, said: ‘’Deskless workers in the healthcare sector have been critical as we fight the battle against coronavirus. They are the frontline nurses, doctors, carers and hospital workers who have been working hard to keep us safe and healthy.
“The country is now moving into a recovery phase, and their role remains critical. It is therefore crucial to protect the mental health of these workers. Employers have a duty of care to their staff, and making sure that those working in healthcare are continuously supported so they can do their jobs effectively will be of the utmost importance in the fight against the virus.”
About the research
The research was conducted by Censuswide in two stages.
The first was conducted with 1,200 deskless workers who work an hourly schedule in the following sectors: retail, hospitality and tourism, shipping/distribution, healthcare and social assistance, transportation and warehousing. It took place between 11.03.2020-23.03.2020.
The second was conducted with 1,205 deskless UK workers in the following sectors: retail, hospitality and tourism, shipping/distribution, healthcare and social assistance, transportation and warehousing. It took place between 22.04.2020-04.05.2020.
Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.