Supporting Staff Wellbeing in Higher Education

This report presents the findings of a national study examining working life in UK Higher Education institutions. 

Research / 2 mins read

Two thousand and forty-six academic and academic related staff were surveyed about the psychosocial hazards they encounter, how they feel about the tasks they do and the availability and usefulness of support mechanisms to manage their wellbeing.

The psychosocial safety climate of their institutions was also examined along with mental health and work-life balance.

The research was conducted by Professor Gail Kinman and Dr Siobhan Wray.

Key findings:


of academics and related staff believe that the psychological health of employees is not seen as important as productivity


show probable signs of depression


feared they would be seen as weak if they sought support

Other findings:

  • Over three quarters (79%) of respondents said they need to work ‘very intensively,’ ‘often’ or ‘always’
  • Half (52%) said they experience unrealistic time pressures ‘often,’ or ‘always.’
  • Many show signs of burnout, with 29% reporting feeling emotionally drained from work ‘every day.’
  • More than two in ten academics work a further two working days per week.
  • Common barriers to obtaining support for wellbeing were lack of time due to a heavy workload and an inflexible schedule as well as lack of information about where to get it.