Associate Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve to present findings to House of Lords Covid-19 Committee on 23 March
- Work and Well-being During Covid-19: Impact, Inequalities, Resilience, and Lessons for the Future of Work published today in World Happiness Report
- Furloughed workers experienced decline in wellbeing, even when fully paid
- Sense of belonging, flexibility and inclusion are key drivers of wellbeing, not pay
New research published in the World Happiness Report today has laid bare the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on workforce well-being. It finds that, amongst people who could not work due to furlough or redundancy, those that reported being lonely to begin with became 43% less happy than people who were not lonely.
Loneliness is also predictive of a slower pace of wellbeing recovery once the worker returns to their job. “Non-lonely respondents had recovered to 95 percent of their baseline life satisfaction five weeks later. Lonely respondents had still not reached this milestone eight weeks on,” explain the authors.
These findings were drawn from the UCL Social Study, which has documented changes in social behaviour and mental health in the U.K. since April 2020.
The authors also studied the wellbeing impact of the U.K’s furlough scheme, which initially provided 80% of workers’ wages while forbidding them to undertake work for their organisation.
Furloughed workers reported a drop in wellbeing compared to those remaining in work, even in instances in which they retained their full salary. Those on 80% pay experienced the more significant decline, with an average 10% drop in life satisfaction. Workers who lost their jobs reported an average 21% drop in life satisfaction.