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Rebuilding the workplace to promote young workers' mental health

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>9/05/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Workplace Health Management
Issue number3
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)307-319
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date15/02/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Young adults have been particularly adversely affected by COVID-19-related disruptions, especially in relation to industries with an over-representation of young adults. This study, a report, aims to discuss the findings from survey data from young adults who reported poorer mental health comparative to older generations prior to the pandemic. Drawing on the international literature and the research findings, the authors propose recommendations for rebuilding the workplace post-pandemic to support young adult's mental health.

Data from 1,999 respondents from 200 organisations in the UK were sought in relation to workplace well-being and mental health through a 15-item multiple choice online survey. Overall, 17% of the sample were senior management, 31% junior management, 37% in non-management roles and a further 15% stated “other”. Exploratory quantitative analyses were undertaken to assess differences in responses to questions between age groups.

Participants in the 16–25-year-old age group were more likely than any other age group to report that work adversely affected their mental health, that their mental health challenges influenced their performance at work, that they had witnessed colleagues' employment negatively influenced by mental health challenges and they felt more comfortable citing physical health challenges for absence than mental health difficulties.

COVID-19-related disruptions meant a large-scale move to remote working for many people. As we return to physical workplaces, we have an exciting opportunity to reform and improve the status quo. The findings, in relation to the mental health of young adults, highlight key risk factors that need to be addressed.