4 in 10 Belgians put on a ‘tough face’ to hide anxiety and stress at work

December 21, 2021


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Trend report Well-being at work by B-Tonic and Herman Konings
  • 56% indicate that their job has become harder due to the pandemic (33% due to increased workload, 23% due to the emotional impact of the pandemic)
  • 25% saw job satisfaction decrease as a result of telecommuting
  • 39.5% often or always put on a tough face during working hours to hide feelings such as anxiety, stress and unease
  • 36% have anxiety or stress on Sunday evening about resuming work on Monday
  • 45% of employees demand more and more focused attention to both mental and physical health of themselves and colleagues

Almost 56 percent of working Belgians say that the pandemic has made their jobs harder, according to a study of more than 1,000 Belgians commissioned by B-Tonic, subsidiary of insurer Baloise Insurance.

Worse, 4 in 10 workers even say they often put on a ‘tough face’ to hide anxiety and stress in the workplace. “The need and focus on well-being at work has received a real steroid injection due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both employees and their employers increasingly realise the importance of their physical and mental state in their professional environment“, says Siviglia Berto of B-Tonic, which today presents its 2022 Wellbeing & Connectivity trend report in collaboration with trendwatcher Herman Konings.

The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the human mind and society. While the lockdowns crippled social life, professional life gained digital momentum. COVID-19 digitised society and the economy with turbo power. Teleworking became the norm and Teams replaced the chat at the coffee machine. B-Tonic has mapped out in cooperation with trendwatcher Herman Konings how big that impact is on the well-being of working Belgians in the 2022 Wellbeing & Connectivity trend report.

“The figures from our survey and the trends described by Herman Konings clearly indicate that the mental health of employees and managers should be the main concern for companies in the coming years. How do you ensure that they experience sufficient job satisfaction and meaning and remain happy in the workplace? Physically fit and healthy employees are one thing. Mentally healthy managers, executives and employees are equally important.

Companies need to realise the importance of a preventive and curative comprehensive approach.” Siviglia Berto, managing director B-Tonic

Transforming into businesses of the future
Companies looking to introduce new initiatives and wellbeing benefits should take into account the new challenges facing the workplace today, according to B-Tonic. That means thinking carefully and getting advice on how to integrate wellbeing tools into their daily activities to support the different needs of employees. Flexible working hours and long-term remote working are two examples of this, but the choice and design of the office environment will also become crucial as employees start using their workplace mainly as a meeting place.

About B-Tonic
B-Tonic helps organisations, executives and employees with all kinds of issues around employee experience, working relationships, vitality, leadership and careers. The approach is based on scientific knowledge. By investing in well-being, company structure and individuals can be strengthened, thus eliminating stress hotspots and unhealthy living habits, leading to greater job satisfaction. With the end result being more productivity, growth, resilience and more happiness.

About Baloise Insurance
Baloise Insurance is a Belgian insurance company and part of the Swiss Baloise Group. It offers a comprehensive range of Life, Non-Life and Marine insurance through a wide network of independent insurance brokers.

With the recent merger with Fidea and the acquisition of Athora non-life insurance, Baloise Insurance’s turnover is around EUR 2 billion and ranks among the top 4 non-life insurers in Belgium. With its 1,500 employees and network of independent brokers, Baloise Insurance strives to achieve an optimal balance between digital and human in its offering.


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annelies theunissen

Annelies Theunissen
People Sustainability Expert

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