Worker survey 2022

How do people feel at work?

In October 2022, IOSH commissioned BF Media to survey workers, line managers and senior leaders on how people were feeling at work. Responses were received from 2,152 workers and 992 managers (714 line managers and 278 senior leaders), all of whom were based in the UK and worked for companies with five or more employees.

What we found

The survey revealed that people generally are unhappy at work, with the main emotion being one of existing rather than thriving, where feelings of vulnerability, both in terms of job prosperity and risks to personal health and safety, hide behind a protective workers’ shield of reserved loyalty, rationed commitment and resisted teamwork.

Key findings from workers included:

  • 44 percent disagreed with the statement: “I trust my employer has my safety and health in mind because of the attention they pay to the way we work”
  • More than a quarter of employees admitted they don’t undertake tasks with any enthusiasm or commitment, while only 61% claimed they give their best, with only a little over half saying they felt loyalty to their employer
  • Almost 40 percent of workers don’t feel their employer is supportive of their physical and mental wellbeing
  • Nearly half the workforce doesn’t feel appreciated for the work they do, nor supported by their colleagues.

Yet business leaders and managers, according to the research, see things differently:

  • Nearly 80 percent think their employees are provided with a safe and comfortable working environment (though 57 percent admitted their employees don’t share the view they are adequately protected)
  • While only a third of workers felt their employer would support them through a period of job insecurity, 57 percent of managers said they would be helped through the process
  • The research suggests a similar proportion of UK business leaders and managers derive the same low sense of purpose from their work as their employees – 52 percent.

What can you do?

We can help businesses to address these concerns. Social sustainability is unequivocally intertwined with occupational safety and health. What we are saying is that by viewing everything you do through an occupational safety and health lens you can go a long way to ensuring you are a socially sustainable business. Through such a lens, you can work towards preventing any hint of modern slavery in your business and supply chain. You can also manage the risks to the mental health and wellbeing of your workforce, ensuring parity between mental and physical health. By investing in your people, for their future and your business’s, you can retain the best talent and ensure your business has the resilience to thrive

See also


BF Media - worker survey 2022

Key findings from workers.

Download PDF 0.6 MB
BF Media - managers and leaders survey 2022

Key findings from managers and leaders.

Download PDF 0.2 MB