Almost half (46%) of all employees feel more stressed at work than they did a year ago, according to the findings of a study from Specialists4Protection.co.uk, a life insurance and protection advisory firm.
So if you’ve been feeling more stressed out with work than usual lately, you’re not alone.
How stress is affecting the UK workforce
Work-related stress is putting a huge strain on UK employees, while stress-related illnesses are putting more of a strain on employers and health services than ever before.
The findings of a new study have revealed just how work-related stress is affecting UK employees:
- Almost 1-in5 (17%) employees feel their work stress levels are ‘much higher’ than they were 12 months ago. Just under that figure (16%) of people in work claim to have taken medical advice to help them cope with work-related stress, while just over 1-in-10 (13%) are on medication partly because of this.
- Over half (55%) of those suffering from work-related stress say it has had a negative affect on their sleep, while 1-in-5 (19%) claim it’s contributed towards a decline in their relationship with their partner.
- 4-in-10 (40%) say work-related stress means they are not eating properly, while the same number (42%) are doing less exercise because of it.
Why we’re feeling more stressed at work
So why are we feeling more stressed in work? The study also revealed the following:
- Having more work piled on them appears to be a key factor, with over half (57%) citing this as the main reason they feel more stressed.
- Just over a quarter (26%) said it’s because the organisation they work for is under greater financial strain, while the same figure (26%) said it was because their line manager isn’t up to the job. A quarter (25%) put it down to working longer hours.
- In the first three-quarters of 2016, just under half (45%) of those who feel more stressed at work than they did a year ago have taken at least two extra days off work sick because of this.
Paul Litster, Managing Director, Specialists4Protection.co.uk said: “Our findings are very concerning. It’s not only the individuals who are suffering here but also their employers and the wider nation as a whole as the pressure on our NHS and health services increases.
In the first nine months of 2016, 45% of those people who feel more stressed at work than they did a year ago have taken at least two extra days off work sick because of this.
“Employee stress and sickness is already at crisis levels and as the problem gets worse, it’s a ticking time-bomb.”
How to beat work-related stress
Specialists4Protection.co.uk targets SMEs with between 50 and 200 employees to help them ensure their staff has adequate life, critical illness and health insurance. It is also launching a new service that offers senior executives of these companies a personalised health and wellbeing service, including a trained fitness instructor and nutrition coach individually reviewing senior managers to make personalised recommendations in these areas. For more information call 01243 219190, or visit the company website at specialists4protection.co.uk.
And for tips on how to make the workplace a less stressful place for employees and managers alike, read Why your business has to tackle mental health head on.