Last reviewed 26 March 2021

Lloyd’s Register has surveyed 5500 employees from organisations across 11 countries, including the UK, to identify the true impact of remote working and the implications for employee health and safety at work.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the health of the workforce is the health of a business,” the resulting report said. “The world of work has been through a period of unprecedented change that in many cases will be permanent — the voice of the workforce will be crucial in defining new ways of working that are both safe and effective.”

The report, which examines the period March to December 2020, records an overall decline in employee wellbeing during the crisis, linked to increased workloads and lack of support from managers and colleagues.

Barely a quarter (24%) of respondents had received a home office risk assessment, while only 15% reported that their employer had shared resources on employee wellbeing.

“If not properly managed, there is a clear risk that as new working practices become more embedded, employee wellbeing will face a structural decline,” Lloyd’s Register suggested. “If ignored, companies will find themselves managing significant disruption to their most valuable resources, in what will be an already challenging climate.”

The full report is available without charge via the Lloyd’s Register website, although it does require the submission of contact details.

It suggests that that health and safety professionals should move away from tracking accident, sickness or absence data and give more consideration to surveys, discussion forums and sentiment analysis tools as indicators of workplace health.