More than half of UK workers (53.2%) currently experience stress in their workplace and almost two-thirds (61.9%) believe their employer looks down on employees who get stressed, a new survey shows.
Conducted by independent job site CV-Library, the poll of 1,200 UK employees found that the majority (57.4%) believe their direct line manager does not offer support for dealing with work-related stress.
In fact, the survey suggests that bad management is the number one cause of stress at work (65.8%). It’s followed by low workplace morale (38.1%); unfriendly colleagues (35.7%); heavy workloads (34.1%); long working hours (29.3%); and poor work/life balance (25.5%).
Furthermore, the survey also found that 89% of employees believe that being susceptible to stress can have a negative impact on career progression. More than two-thirds (67%) say this is because stress directly affects performance in the workplace.
In addition, 66.8% think that it is because employees should be able to handle some stress within their working lives, while 46.9% said that stress can lead to employees burning out, causing them to take time off work.
Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, echoed the findings of the research, saying that heavier workloads and longer working hours are resulting in a poor work/life balance for many UK employees.
He warned that it’s not just productivity that is impacted by high stress levels, but can also result in workers leaving in search of a better working environment elsewhere.
“The mentality that everyone should be able to handle stress promotes all the wrong messages to workers, especially those that are looking to climb the career ladder. Employees should be able to progress in their career without being put under too much pressure, and ultimately, staff who are less stressed will perform better at work,” he said.
But if you’re a contractor in the UK, new research by ECIS, the employee benefits company for the construction sector, could give you some food for thought.
Coinciding with BackCare Awareness Week (3-8 October), the ECIS research shows that nearly a third of contractors are impacted by back, neck, hip and leg injuries, and that 35% of all contractor health insurance claims made to ECIS relate to muscle, bone or joint conditions.
Worryingly, the figures also show that 60% of workers simply take painkillers and rest.
Vicki Leslie, client relationship manager at ECIS, said such steps could hide an underlying problem and mean that access to professional treatment is delayed.
“Combine this with GP waiting times and it’s easy to see how workers can end up being in pain and out of action for longer than they need to,” she said.
It has long been known that a healthy workforce is a happier and more productive workforce. It is very important for employers to take measures to ensure they do not have a stressed workforce which can cause so many different issues for a business and for the individual.
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