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The truth about Londoners’ attitudes to workplace health

The truth about Londoners’ attitudes to workplace health

Its red buses and black taxis are renowned across the world as iconic hallmarks of London, while the city’s inhabitants are typically known for their busyness and commitment to tube rules (never stand on the left-side of the escalator), but how much do we really know about Londoners’ attitudes to the workplace?

A Populus survey commissioned by the London Assembly Health Committee explores Londoners’ attitudes to the health of their workplace. We surveyed 1,013 Londoners working in the capital, to get to the heart of questions around workplace support, attitudes to health conditions at work and demographic information.

Key findings:

 Half of all employees with a longstanding physical or mental health condition have hidden it from their employer

  • 1 in 10 Londoners arrives home feeling exhausted from work every single day.
  • Only 40% of low paid employees feel their employer would support them if they had to take time off for a mental illness, compared to 59% of higher paid employees.

The research has been used to inform the London Assembly Health Committee’s investigation into workplace health support. Key findings have been published today, which find that:

  • Healthy work is not just the avoidance of harmful work practices, but the creation of positive wellbeing within workplaces and workforces.
  • Autonomy and job security are key principles of healthy work.
  • We need to challenge the idea that there will always be some bad or unhealthy jobs.

The report explores the vital role that work plays in keeping people in good physical and mental health. The full report can be viewed online here.

Dr Onkar Sahota AM, Chair of the Health Committee, said:

“As a GP, I am very aware that health is not just the absence of illness, but it’s also the state of wellbeing. Not everyone will be lucky enough to love their job – but a job should not make an employee unwell. There is much work to be done on the issue of workplace health and the sooner we address the problems – the better.

 Employers have a duty to proactively develop healthy working practices, environments and cultures to ensure their employees can flourish and always feel supported.

 The Mayor should especially target employers within low paid sectors to help tackle health inequalities for London’s most economically vulnerable workers.”

Populus taps into the views of the people who know London best. Its surveys of Londoners offer the chance to form successful strategies for a range of areas including transport, tourism, housing, politics and wellbeing in the capital. Find out more about our Solutions here.

View the full Data Tables here.


Populus interviewed 1,013 Londoners aged 18+ and weighted to the population of London. Interviews were conducted online between the 18th and 21st Sept 2017.

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