Namibians less stressed in 2020

Workers around the world were more stressed, worried and angry than before in 2020, but Namibians seem to buck the trend.

24 June 2021 | Social Issues

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

Last year, workers around the world were more stressed, worried and angry than before, but surprisingly the levels of these negative emotions among Namibian workers declined in 2020.

This is despite Namibians facing one of the toughest years in the workplace, when many lost their jobs and salary cuts were made while the country also faced a tough economic situation.

The State of the Global Workplace 2021 report found that roughly seven in 10 employees globally are struggling or suffering, rather than thriving in their overall lives.

“In addition, 80% are not engaged or are actively disengaged. This lack of engagement costs the global economy US$8.1 trillion, nearly 10% of GDP in lost productivity each year.”

Struggling

The report noted that globally employee engagement dropped by 2% from 2019 to 2020 and employees reported higher worry, stress, anger and sadness in 2020 than the previous year.

“Given hospitalisations and deaths due to Covid-19 as well as lockdowns, closed schools, increased remote work and unemployment, the above outcomes are not surprising,” according to the report.

Job losses

Nearly one in three people who had a job at the time of the pandemic say they lost their job or business because of the coronavirus situation — translating to just over 1 billion adults globally.

Meanwhile, 50% of workers received less money than usual from their employer or business, 49% of workers worked fewer hours at their job or business, 53% of workers temporarily stopped working at their job or business and 32% of workers lost their job or business.

However, there are significant differences in how employees across regions and countries experienced 2020.

In Namibia only 22% of employees said they are engaged, while 32% of employees said they felt worried, 30% indicated they felt stressed and 21% said they felt anger.

However, compared to the previous year, feelings of worry dropped by 5% amongst Namibian employees, while stress and anger decreased by 2% respectively.

Lessons learned

The report says that as employers rethink their workplaces, they have lessons to learn from 2020.

“Most importantly, leaders need to recognise the influence of employee wellbeing and employee engagement on workforce resilience.”

It adds that physical health, loneliness, financial hardship and community support, among other factors, affect the involvement, enthusiasm and productivity of workers in both good times and bad.

“Successful corporations of the future not only will generate profits, but also will generate thriving employees who are capable of weathering crises.”

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