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Tech professionals most likely to see mental health decline due to pandemic

Struggling to cope with anxiety and new ways of working are among the problems workers in the sector face, study says

Technology professionals are among the most likely to suffer from mental health issues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent study.

Around 20% IT workers are finding it hard to adjust to the new ways of working, and 34% are getting anxious about work, according to the Coping after Covid from Westfield Health report.

Nearly half (44%) of IT sector professionals said they had their mental health affected since the start of the pandemic, the study said.

If wellbeing spend is maximised, increased productivity could add £61bn to the UK economy by 2025, with an estimated 320,000 business have wellbeing strategies not fulfilling their potential, according to the research, which also noted that 33% of IT workers want extra wellbeing support.

Technology workers also want more mental health support (30%) and long-term changes to the way they work (40%). However, 59% of human resources leaders said they would like to be ale to do more in terms of wellbeing, but company culture prevents it.

“As the world of business begins to pick up the pace again, it has never been more pressing to make sure that IT companies take it upon themselves to care for the mental and physical wellbeing of their employees,” said Dave Capper, chief executive at Westfield Health.

Similarly, a separate study by recruitment firm Harvey Nash has found that mental health issues concern UK tech professionals, as issues ranging from staff shortages to lack of flexibility around work schedules become commonplace.

Companies are relatively supportive when it comes to mental health issues, the research noted, with three-quarters (77%) having at least some kind of support in place.

But the survey also found that companies that are “unsupportive” have almost three times as many workers concerned about their mental health right now compared with “very supportive” employers.

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