Workplace health and wellbeing survey for East Sussex employers

Closed 30 Oct 2020

Opened 1 Oct 2020

Results updated 22 Dec 2020

East Sussex County Council Public Health asked local employers for their feedback on health and wellbeing in the workplace.

The survey ran between 1 and 30 October 2020. The link to the survey was distributed to partners in Communities Economy & Transport, districts and boroughs, and some local chambers of commerce. The survey was also promoted via the Health and Social Care East Sussex monthly newsletter.

Sample details

  • 26 people responded to the survey.
  • The most common job role of respondents was as a business owner (27%).
  • Respondents were most likely to be based in either the Wealden District or Hastings Borough Council area (27%).
  • 38% of respondents worked in a micro-sized organisation (1-9 employees).   
  • 19% of respondents were based in a health and social work setting. Respondents worked in a wide range of occupations.

COVID-19 impact on the health and wellbeing of workforce

  • The main positive impact was a better work life balance (23% : 6 respondents).
  • Improved adherence to infection prevention and control measures and the governments COVID-secure guidance, reduced travel costs and time, and flexibility with working hours, were all mentioned by 15% : 4 respondents.
  • The main negative impact was an increase in mental health challenges or reported conditions (38% : 10 respondents).
  • Loneliness or isolation (35% : 9 respondents), and poorer communication (27% : 7 respondents) were the next most commonly mentioned impacts.

Current support

Respondents reported that the most common things already being done to support positive employee health and wellbeing are:

  • signposting to health and wellbeing information (11 responses);
  • wellbeing newsletter, intranet pages; other staff communications (6 responses);
  • wellbeing policies (6 responses); and
  • mental health champions or mental health first aiders (6 responses).

Future challenges and support needs

The most common topic mentioned was an increase in mental health challenges or reported conditions (31%). 

23% mentioned challenges with low energy/morale/motivation/engagement, and 19% noted a reduction in time able to be spent outside or in sunlight.

69% of respondents said their workplace could benefit from further support regarding health and wellbeing. The most popular topics suggested were:

  • mental health (mentioned by 65%);
  • musculoskeletal health (also 65%); and
  • health & safety (62%).

The top two forms of support workplaces mentioned would find most helpful were recorded for each workplace health topic mentioned. The most common of these were:

  • specific advice and guidance (including policies and plans), which came within the top responses for 6 topics; and
  • resources and wellbeing activities, which both came within the top responses for 5 topics.

Common other comments included:

  • provision of widely available information that is easy to navigate and find;
  • involving local businesses to share and provide their expertise; and
  • ensuring different sectors such as retail and healthcare are recognised and supported.

Awards programme

  • Just over a third (9 respondents; 35%) said they would be interested in taking part in an awards programme to recognise employers’ commitment to workplace health and wellbeing.
  • Nearly half (12 respondents; 46%) said they were unsure and would need more information.

What will happen next

  • We have already launched a series of monthly webinars to provide information to employers. January’s topic, on Tuesday 12 from 12pm to 1pm, is mental health: Sign up here
  • We will be providing guidance, resources and signposting to services for topic areas raised, within our monthly Wellbeing at Work newsletter: Sign up here
  • Following the feedback on providing widely available, easy to find and navigable information, we are currently developing a website to act as a hub for workplace health and wellbeing information for East Sussex employers. Launching early 2021
  • We will use the feedback collected to inform the development of an East Sussex Health and Wellbeing accreditation programme, that will recognise employers’ commitment to improving workplace health. Launching Spring 2021
  • We will provide more information to employers about the accreditation programme though the channels used to promote the survey
  • We will use the feedback to inform the development of a training offer to support employers with workplace health and wellbeing topics.

Thank you to everyone who shared feedback.


We need your input in developing a support offer for employers, so that they feel equipped to deliver health and wellbeing initiatives in the workplace.

If you are a local business owner, senior leader, manager, supervisor, a HR, occupational health or Health and Safety representative, please take 10 minutes to fill in our short survey. What you tell us will help us to understand what support would be useful, relevant and meet the needs of workplaces in East Sussex.

Why we are consulting

Workplace health support for organisations has never been more relevant, as we consider the challenges we have been faced with this year in the workplace as an outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is particularly true due to the preventable nature of the most common causes of long-term employee absence, such as mental ill health, musculoskeletal injuries and work-related stress.

East Sussex County Council Public Health want to engage with local employers and gather feedback from them about health and wellbeing in the workplace. This will help us to understand what format of resources and support would be useful to encourage positive employee health and wellbeing in the county.

Our ideas so far include:

  • supporting organisations to develop and implement wellbeing initiatives through an award or accreditation scheme,
  • sharing best practice and resources around workplace wellbeing,
  • promoting relevant health campaigns, and
  • offering training and webinars.

Please let us know what you think of our ideas and share yours by completing the survey.

Privacy information: This survey is anonymous and we don't ask you to provide any personal information. Please ensure that any comments you provide don't include any names or personal details of you or anyone else. For more information about how your data will be stored and processed please read the privacy notice.


  • All Areas


  • Businesses


  • Health and wellbeing
  • Businesses