- Brits are suffering from ‘unmanageable stress’ due to excessive workload, reveals well-being research
- Lack of office routine and working extra hours during ‘commute time’ cited as leading cause
- Cigna Europe is tackling employee needs through its Whole Health initiative and world’s first AI voice stress detector
London, 31 August, 2021 – One in three Brits (32%) working from home have been putting in longer hours since the start of COVID-19, and the excessive workload is creating ‘unmanageable stress’, according to new research from health service company Cigna Europe.
Lack of an office routine and extra time from non-commuting have been cited as the main reasons for the excessive workload, as the research reveals almost three quarters (71%) of the nation are currently stressed, with 12% of this unmanageable.
The research also reveals that Brits rank their mental health highest when considering issues important to their overall Whole Health, closely followed by their physical health . To tackle these issues head on, the company recently launched a new Whole Health initiative to support UK employees and a new science-based voice detector stress tool Cigna StressWaves Test, designed to reveal how stressed users are - in just 90 seconds
Dr. Peter Mills, Associate Medical Director at Cigna Europe, said: “It is essential for employers to focus on closing the gap between what employees expect in terms of their overall Whole Health and what they actually receive now that we are starting to return to the office. Whole Health extends beyond the typical provisions of physical and mental health and includes everything that makes up the employee's world: family, friends, work-life balance, access to care, finances and home environment. Difficulty in any one of these areas can have an immediate knock-on effect on a person's Whole Health.
“During the past year, it’s clear from our research that too many people in the UK are not just struggling with longer working hours, but also with unmanageable stress, often leading to mental health issues – a health aspect that is increasingly becoming more and more important. Employers need to provide more comprehensive well-being policies and they need to do it now.”
Prior to the pandemic, well-being policies were often tactical and reactionary and with the additional pressures the pandemic has brought, they have not had the desired impact. Recognising the need for change to support its own employees' needs, Cigna Europe is carrying out a complete corporate culture overhaul in its pursuit to become a true Whole Health employer – ensuring Whole Health is the reality for its employees.
Arjan Toor, CEO, Cigna Europe, said: “It’s vital for us to deliver healthcare innovations that connect our customers and our employees with the best care possible. As a health service company, we consider it our responsibility to help bridge the gap between employee needs and the health support provided, and that change starts from within our own company. A large part of a person’s life is spent at work, be it virtual or in the office, and we have an essential role in supporting the Whole Health of our employees, especially regarding health aspects that are increasingly under pressure, such as mental health.
“We’re embarking on an ambitious journey to evolve our products and services to support the Whole Health of our customers and employees holistically, and this is a very exciting direction for Cigna in Europe.”
For further information and to be kept up to date with the latest offerings and news from Cigna Europe, please visit https://www.cignaglobal.com/blog/company-news and https://comms.cignaglobal.com/wholehealth-europe
Link to full Cigna Europe 360° Well-being Study: https://www.cignaglobal.com/blog/whole-health/360-well-being-study-europe.
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Notes to Editors
How the COVID-19 360° Wellbeing-Survey was conducted:
The Cigna 360° Well-Being Survey has been conducted annually since 2014. It aims to provide an all-inclusive view of how people feel about their well-being – what’s going well and what challenges they face.
These insights can help employers develop health and well-being strategies for their employees to cure current problems and prevent future issues.
For this seventh annual Cigna 360° Well-Being Survey, Cigna surveyed 18,043 people aged 18 or above, in 21 markets around the world asking them to complete an anonymous 20-minute online survey covering our key themes. The markets covered were Australia, Belgium, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA.
The fieldwork for this survey was completed in April 2021, prior to the surges in COVID-19 cases in India and Taiwan. The data collected for those markets was true to their situation at the time, but given the evolving nature of the pandemic, we understand perceptions are likely to have changed.
About Cigna’s European businesses (“Cigna Europe”)
Cigna (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and peace of mind. Cigna’s European businesses (“Cigna Europe”) has more than 60 years of experience in designing, implementing and managing international group health insurance and employee benefits programs for domestic and international recruited staff from European corporations, International Organizations (IGO & NGO) and governments. We also provide healthcare for globally mobile individuals.
Belgium is not just the heart of Europe, but also the heart of Cigna’s European business (the former Van Breda International was acquired by Cigna in 2010). Cigna remains an active player in the Belgian business community, through memberships of BVVM (brokers association) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium. Cigna International is of Belgian origin and remains a proud entity in Belgium.
To support its customers, Cigna Europe has dedicated offices in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, Kenya, Dubai, the United States and Malaysia. Over the years, we have acquired an in-depth understanding of the daily challenges faced by domestic and international organizations, and their staff members in managing their Whole Health.