Workers are calling for better support via Stress Reduction Programmes as stress levels increase across the UK. That’s according to data from specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half.

The company’s 2024 Salary Guide – which analyses and reports on market salaries, hiring trends, and skills requirements across the UK – revealed that more than half (54%) of employees want access to Stress Reduction Programmes this year as the impact of the economic climate puts pressure on mental wellbeing.

Steve Sully, Regional Director at Robert Half commented:

The mental wellbeing of the workforce has taken a hit since the pandemic. From the uncertainty and general loneliness that came from the various lockdowns, to a significant shift in what the world of work looks like and, more recently, economic and financial pressures, staff have had a lot to contend with. There’s no doubt that the vast majority – if not all – of employers have recognised this and we have seen a greater focus on mental health in boardroom discussions.

Steve Sully, Regional Director at Robert Half

The study also showed a desire from staff for increased access to perks and benefits to boost mental wellbeing, including additional days off and access to facilities to increase physical movement. Almost half (41%) stated they would like access to annual leave purchase schemes while an additional 41% were keen to be offered sabbaticals or unpaid leave.

With more firms encouraging a return to the office, employee requests for access to in-office physical activities such as yoga have increased, with 47% of staff indicating they want this in 2024. A further 48% expressed a desire for gym memberships.

The release of these findings during Mental Health Awareness Week underscores their significance and relevance. This week is a promising opportunity for organisations to prioritise mental health and introduce supportive measures that can significantly enhance workplace wellbeing.

Sully concludes:

As the economic outlook begins to show promising signs, businesses will once again face tough competition for talent and risk losing core staff members and potential new recruits to rival brands unless they can provide a robust and holistic employment package. With budgets already stretched, financial incentives such as pay rises and bonuses aren’t on the cards for many. But offering additional benefits packages that also have the added bonus of boosting mental wellbeing and, in turn, productivity and morale, makes absolute sense.

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.