Four in five hybrid workers have experienced workplace anxiety since the start of the pandemic, as reflected in recent research from Fora, a London-based workspace provider.

Identifying signs of workplace anxiety is crucial in addressing this pervasive issue. Common indicators include increased irritability, difficulty concentrating, and frequent absenteeism.

However, some signs may be subtler, such as avoiding social interactions, excessive perfectionism, or even physical symptoms like headaches and fatigue. According to an online study conducted by the Institute of Occupational Health and Safety, these signs can significantly impact an individual’s productivity and well-being.

Such experiences may be one factor that helps to explain the UK’s continuing decline in productivity. The average hybrid worker missed six days of work in 2023 because of workplace anxiety, which led to a total of more than 28m days missed.

Leading workplace behaviour psychologist Dr Craig Knight has six tips for employers who want to support their employees and minimise lost time:

  1. Create an enriched environment, which includes elements like art and considered interior design
  2. Offer a range of spaces to suit different styles of work, and understand that not all work can be done in the same way
  3. Listen to employees’ opinions – you don’t need to implement everything that’s requested but it should all form part of the decision-making process
  4. Embrace the importance of recharging – a suitable space to get back in the zone after a big meeting can boost productivity
  5. Watch out for the signs of workplace anxiety, which may be particularly prevalent after holidays or around important deadlines

Jennie Farmer, Chief Marketing Officer at Fora agrees:

We know that workplace anxiety is a pressing issue in today’s professional landscape. Our polling results serve as a reminder that our working environment needs to do more than offer a desk and chair – it needs to support our employees’ wellbeing.

Jennie Farmer, Chief Marketing Officer at Fora

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.