Bupa Workplace Wellbeing Census

A word from Mark Allan
Commercial Director at Bupa UK

It’s impossible to overstate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business over the last year. Organisations in all industries have had to adapt and evolve in the face of the crisis, while working against a backdrop of major economic uncertainty.

But as well as being a significant challenge, the pandemic has also been a catalyst for positive change. And, as we look toward a period of recovery and regrowth, we should celebrate positive actions that employers have managed to take over the last year. Many businesses have seen the benefits of enabling remote working for the long-term and in bringing traditionally in-person services online.

While it’s been a gruelling year for all organisations, workplace wellbeing is one important area where the pandemic has fuelled progress. Work plays a crucial part in most people's lives, and not just in providing a source of income. It can give us a sense of purpose and achievement, and boost our self-esteem, as well as providing an opportunity to socialise and build friendships with our colleagues at a time when so many have been isolated. At Bupa, we know that a focus on wellbeing allows businesses and their people to thrive.

For many businesses, there is now not just an opportunity for recovery, but for renewal. Employee wellbeing can, and should, be the central tenet of any organisation’s COVID-recovery plan - and its culture too. Success in a post-pandemic working world lies with the businesses who take this once-in-a-generation opportunity for change; their progress now will reap rewards in the future.

Did you know?


Employee health is vital to every business, and over the last year in particular, many employees have come to expect that their employer cares about their health.

At Bupa we know that a happy, healthy workforce is a positive one: Employees that feel that their organisation takes an interest in and prioritises their wellbeing are more likely to be engaged, motivated and loyal.

Bupa’s 2021 Workplace Wellbeing Census uncovers a number of ‘wellbeing gains’ resulting from working through the pandemic. More than 4,000 employees were surveyed across industries, nations and regions in Great Britain to gain a comprehensive view of the impact that the pandemic has had on the nation’s workers.

Employees report that they’re benefitting from the ability to work from home, a healthier work-life balance and diminishing accessibility issues. And, importantly, businesses are now able to better understand the needs of their employees. Many are improving their wellbeing provision, offering better information and support, or providing access to health services.

The census shows that there’s a lot for employers to be proud of after the difficulties of last 12 months, which many will be hoping to carry forward. We know that employees now want to see the wellbeing gains they’ve enjoyed taken forward for the long-term - believing that they should become part of both wellbeing packages and, indeed, part of normal working life. And, with a return to normality likely to be a lengthy process, businesses will need to continue managing uncertain and changing workplace dynamics.

By seizing the wellbeing opportunity presented by the pandemic, there are numerous benefits to be found.

Take action now

Find out more about our health and wellbeing cover for your employees

The Bupa Workplace Wellbeing Census was published in May 2021. Fieldwork for the study was undertaken on behalf of Bupa by YouGov. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4,030 employees in private businesses from 13 different sectors, polled between 5th - 25th February 2021. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adult employees (aged 18+).

Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No.3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Bupa Health Assessments and Occupational Health services are provided by Bupa Occupational Health Limited. Registered in England and Wales No.631336. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London, EC2R 7HJ.