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We see the impacts of poor wellbeing in society every day. On a micro level, we know that poor wellbeing has wide-reaching consequences, negatively impacting mental, physical and emotional health.  

Stress and anxiety are associated with the development of alcohol and nicotine dependence, unhealthy food habits, insomnia, high blood pressure, and heart disease; to list only a few. Collectively, the cost for these conditions is in excess of £300bn per year; in a mix of actual costs and costs associated with lost productivity.    

On a macro level, we see how poor wellbeing impacts the nation through worsening health outcomes, increasing levels of stress and anxiety, reduced economic activity, and stagnant economic growth.   

Across almost every demographic, we’ve seen domestic levels of stress and anxiety rise at startling levels, with 76% of employees reporting moderate-to-high levels of stress (up from 67% the previous year). In many ways, this reflects the social and economic challenges we have seen around us (from the COVID-19 pandemic to the cost-of-living crisis).   

We know the problems, so what can we all do to make sure worker wellbeing is not just an afterthought but placed at the heart of economic growth?   

“An individual's ongoing state which enables a person to thrive.” That’s how wellbeing is defined by British Safety Council, and our focus is firmly set on helping organisations to ensure that their approach to wellbeing allows their employees to thrive.   

It has long been known that workplace stresses are not confined to the hours of 9-5, often coming home with us at the end of the working day. With a post-pandemic shift to remote working, from home or a third location, how we respond to workplace stresses, set boundaries to stop them becoming home stresses too, and support employees to support their own wellbeing, become ever more important.   

That’s why, ahead of the General Election we published a ‘Health, Safety, and Wellbeing Manifesto’, in which we called on any future Government to commit to a national first – a joined-up, government-led ‘National Wellbeing Strategy’ which puts worker wellbeing front and centre.

This strategy would be led by a newly created Minister for Wellbeing, sitting in the Cabinet Office, who can bridge the gap between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DSHC) cutting through the red tape that so often limits the efficacy of government projects.

We believe that wellbeing can be leveraged to make people healthier and happier, increasing workplace retention rates and putting an end to the culture of ‘quiet quitting’ that is making businesses and our economy less productive. By improving wellbeing, we also improve related health conditions, seeing improvements in physical, mental, and emotional health.