WoW – how has COVID-19 affected your employment and mental wellbeing?

Monday, 18 May 2020

A new study, launched during Mental Health Awareness Week, will investigate how people’s work and employment has changed because of COVID-19, and how this has affected their mental wellbeing.

The Wellbeing of the Workforce (WoW) study will also look at what might be helping people to cope with the current uncertainties around their jobs.

The study is a collaboration between experts from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), and the Schools of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.

Peoples’ experiences of working during the COVID-19 pandemic have been very different. Those who have remained employed may be experiencing challenges of working from home or facing additional demands as key workers; those who have been ‘furloughed’ by their employer may be facing concerns about their job re-starting; those on zero hours contracts or who have been made redundant due to COVID-19 are likely to be facing financial difficulties; and the self-employed may be in a similar situation due to the inability to work due to lockdown restrictions.

This study aims to understand how these different experiences have affected people’s wellbeing, their feelings about their work and their future employment, and whether certain sources of support or resilience help to protect people from some of the possible negative experiences. “
Dr Louise Thomson, from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, and one of the leads on the project

The team will conduct a longitudinal survey to look at recent changes (and changes over time) in how people work, health and well-being, and how people feel about the support they are getting from their employer as well as their family and friends.

They will also interview people to find out more details about their experience of working or being furloughed during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Dr Juliet Hassard, from the Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, said: “The findings will help us to develop recommendations and guidance for individuals, employers and policy makers on how to support the well-being and resilience of the workforce.”

Members of the public who want to take part in the online survey, can do so here.

To find out more about the interviews, or to take part in an interview, people can email the study team at

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Louise Thomson from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, at

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Notes to editors:

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