Unhappy employees take nine more sick days a year at cost of £11bn

Impact on wider health and happiness

Laura Miller
clock • 1 min read

Unhappy employees take almost two working weeks’ more sickness absence on average per year compared to their happy counterparts, costing the UK economy £11bn annually in lost productivity, according to new research.

A report from WPI Economics, commissioned by employee benefits provider Unum UK, spoke to more than 4,000 employees across the UK. It found almost half (48%) said they do not have good mental wellbeing and this is having an impact on their productivity and wider health and happiness. Elsewhere, the report suggests just 13% of unhappy staff think they are very productive at work, which is three times lower than their happy peers. The average unhappy, unproductive worker loses nine hours of productive time per week, more than a typical day's work. By contrast, 80% of workers said ...

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