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UK Workers ‘Crying Out For Support’, New Research Finds

The need for British employers to effectively handle the nation’s mental health during the pandemic is laid bare in new research from global health service company Cigna Europe, announced today to mark the launch of its new healthcare vision across the UK.

As the country looks ahead to restrictions easing and getting back to the workplace, Brits are crying out for help from their employer with life’s challenges: around two thirds of UK workers (64%) would welcome support with daily life including finances and living conditions1 - while 8 in 10 (80%) believe their employer should better support their work-life balance1. Two thirds (66%) admit to being ‘always-on’, around three quarters (74%) are currently stressed2, and a third (31%) of employees have had to take time off work due to COVID-192.  

With the way Brits work and live having changed forever, Cigna Europe today announces a new, five-year strategic overhaul to its healthcare plans - placing greater emphasis on putting the care back into healthcare through a ‘Whole Health’ approach, while helping people address significant disruption to their lives due to the pandemic.

Arjan Toor, CEO, Cigna Europe, said: “It’s extremely concerning to see so many UK workers struggle with life’s challenges right now, particularly those that are clearly suffering from burnout and workplace stress. Employers need to step up and look at the bigger picture when dealing with employee well-being.

“Our lives aren’t two-dimensional and health services shouldn’t be either. It’s time to look at the bigger picture and acknowledge that our lives are complex, particularly right now, and what works on paper may not work for people’s realities. Whole Health is an evolved way of looking at well-being. It allows us to look at the most important parts of people’s daily lives, not just their physical health, and holistically understand and support them.”

The company’s new approach will extend beyond the typical provisions of ‘body and mind’ support to help people stay healthy and well in an ever-changing world. It follows extensive research by the company into the current state and future of care delivery, recognising that Whole Health is more than just physical and mental health – it’s everything that makes up our world: our family, friends, work-life balance, access to care, finances and home environment. A difficulty in any one of these areas can have an immediate knock on effect on a person’s whole health.

Cigna Europe will work with employers to educate them on the wide range of aspects that make up Whole Health and how best to care for their employees, not just physically and mentally, during COVID-19 and beyond. It will provide tailored support and tools to help people face the demands of modern life, including help to maintain the balance between work and home life, support with social and family life, and provides counsel when faced with financial worries.

Toor concluded:We believe it's time to transform traditional healthcare solutions and our new proposition has been developed with this in mind - to meet our customers’ new and ever-changing needs. The well-being culture has moved from being a nice-to-have to a greater strategic issue and should be an essential part of every workplace wellness programme.”

In addition, Cigna’s latest COVID-19 Global Impact Study, further reveals:

  • Around three quarters (74%) of adults in the UK are stressed, with almost half (49%) stating uncertainty about the future is the leading cause, followed by personal finances (36%) and the amount of news/information related to Covid-19 on social media (28%)
  • Employees want more support from employers, with 43% wanting flexible working location/hours, followed by financial support for COVID testing (46%) and enhanced healthcare services (42%)

For further information and to be kept up to date with the latest offerings and news from within Cigna Europe, please visit and

1 Cigna YouGov research

2 COVID-19 Global Impact Study


Uncertainty About The Future And Finances Leading Causes Of Stress, Cigna Study Reveals

  • More than three quarters (76%) people in the UK are currently stressed
  • More than half (51%) of Brits fear for their future
  • Money worries driving surge in anxiety

New research from global health service company Cigna Europe has revealed that uncertainties about the future along with worries around personal finance are the leading causes of stress amongst UK workers.

As 2020 draws to a close and the pandemic continues on, Cigna’s COVID-19 Global Impact Study unveils more than three quarters (76%) of Brits are currently stressed, more than half say uncertainty about the future is the leading cause, followed by personal finances (32%) and the amount of news/information related to COVID-19 on the media (32%).

As news of a vaccine continues to dominate the headlines, the study also shows that Brits have concerns about returning to work when rules are relaxed, with 40% concerned about catching the virus during their commute, 37% are worried about an outbreak returning when mixing in the office whilst 36% have worries over restrictions they will face in the work environment. Many workers feel financial support from their employer for COVID testing would be a key incentive to returning to the workplace.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every part of life across the globe and continues to play a major part in fueling stress”, said Arjan Toor, CEO, Cigna Europe. “It’s evident from our research that people are weighed down by this stress, with anxiety around income and future prospects in our new world the leading causes. This is in stark contrast to our first Impact study in April which showed that 78% of UK workers felt they had good job stability. It’s been a tough year for many, and it is naturally worrying to see so many people stressed about their future.”

The ‘always on’ corporate culture has grown rapidly since lockdown began in March, with almost 7 in 10 (68%) of workers always-on, more than half (54%) are working after working hours, 50% before working hours, and more than 4 in 10 (43%) are working on weekends. Encouragingly however, employers are remaining more flexible as the pandemic continues. The most popular measures put in place by employers are flexible working location/hours (37%) and mental health support (29%).

Toor added: “The emotional toll the virus has had on so many people, not to mention the experiences of isolation, loneliness, financial hardships and mental health trauma cannot be underestimated. As the year draws to a close, we need to look ahead to 2021 and how we, as a whole health partner, can intuitively understand our customers in this increasingly complex world, and support them in each and every aspect of their lives.”

The Cigna COVID-19 Global Impact Study is an ongoing study that has been conducted by Cigna, in partnership with Kantar, between January and October 2020, and will continue into 2021. To date, more than 23,000 online interviews have been conducted across China, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.

The study was conducted using an online survey, with respondents recruited from online panels and undergo rigorous quality control. Age, gender and residing city quotas were set based on the population proportion of respective markets. The 20 to 25 minutes survey was completed anonymously.

Read the full report here.


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