Wellbeing plummets among millennials despite increased support from employers


  • Almost two fifths (39%) of millennials rate their wellbeing positively, compared to three fifths (59%) of millennials who gave this rating before the onset of the pandemic in March

  • Only 40% of females rate their wellbeing positively, compared to 44% of males

  • Encouragingly, 79% of respondents say their organisation offers some support for their wellbeing and mental health compared to 51% who said this was the case when surveyed in April

Wellbeing among millennials across the UK workforce has plummeted since the onset of the virus, according to a new survey from recruiting experts, Hays.

Responses from over 11,500 employers and employees in the UK* reveal that 39% of professionals born between 1983 and 1995 rate their wellbeing positively, which has plummeted since the onset of the virus in March, when 59% of millennials gave this rating.

It is also considerably lower than 48% of Baby Boomers (born between 1940 and 1960), 46% of professionals in Generation Z (born after 1995) and 42% of Gen X (born between 1961-1982) who currently rate their wellbeing positively.

Overall, 42% of professionals across the UK currently rate their wellbeing positively, which has fallen from 47% when surveyed in July**. This is similar across genders, with only 40% of females rating their wellbeing as positive, compared to 44% of males.

Poor work-life balance remains unchanged

Work-life balance was also revealed to be an issue for professionals across the UK and has shown no improvement since the onset of the pandemic. Currently, 45% of professionals rate their work-life balance between average and very poor, which is in line with what they felt in July (45%) and when the first national lockdown commenced in March (48%).

The survey also revealed a disparity between work-life balance among professionals across different industries. Those in marketing rated their work-life balance most poorly (52% rated between average and poor), followed by those in hospitality (51%) and engineering (50%). Staff in government were the most positive about their work-life balance (only 36% rated between average and poor).

More than two thirds (68%) of professionals expect their work-life balance to remain at its current level over the next three months.

Employers stepping up wellbeing support

Despite the reported drop in wellbeing, more than three quarters of respondents (79%) say that their organisation offers some support for their wellbeing and mental health. A third (33%) say that their organisation has adequate policies in place, 30% say there are resources available and 28% say there are people available to help.

This is higher than findings from April***, when only about half (51%) said that their employer supported their wellbeing, despite over three quarters (77%) believing that their employer has a responsibility to do so.

More than four in five (84%) say it is important to them that their organisation supports their mental health and wellbeing. For over half of professionals (52%), it is very important.

Simon Winfield, Managing Director of Hays UK and Ireland, comments on the findings: “Professionals have faced a huge degree of change which has taken its toll, particularly on millennials. Typically, this group are interested in exploring new career paths and progressing into more senior roles which may now feel out of reach due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. 

It’s certainly encouraging that employers have stepped up their wellbeing support, but our findings suggest that far more needs to be done. What’s key is ensuring that the support and perks on offer are tailored to the different demographics. What a professional over fifty needs to manage their wellbeing is likely to be different to someone in their thirties. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to providing wellbeing support. We’ve got to address this now - employers have a responsibility to make sure wellbeing doesn’t plummet further over the winter months.”


For more information contact:

Helen Flannery, PR Manager, Hays
T: +44 (0) 203 0400 282
M: +44 (0)7 5579 70401
About the research
*The survey was carried out between 2nd – 22nd October 2020. The survey received 11,816 responses from both professionals and employers. 
** The survey was carried out between 8th – July 21st 2020. The survey received 13,563 responses from both professionals and employers. 
*** The survey was carried out between 23rd April – may 4th 2020. The survey received 16,228 responses from both professionals and employers. 


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