How Bad Is Workplace Stress In The UK?

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The stigma around mental health and the workplace is starting to erode however major problems still exist for many British workers.

Suffering from stress, anxiety and/or depression can pose big problems not just for the individual themselves but for the wider workforce. Poor concentration levels, lack of interest in work and making avoidable mistakes are all issues that can have repercussions from a health and safety point of view.

Just how bad is stress in the workplace?

In this weeks’ blog, we are going to have a look at the 2018 UK Workplace Stress Survey by Perkbox to see just how much of a problem it is.

How many British employees suffer from work-related stress?

Only 9% of workers in the UK stated that they never experience any form of workplace stress and only a further 21% said that if they did experience poor mental health due to work then it would be considered a low form of stress.

In fact, 59% of respondents admitted that work is the main cause of stress in their lives.

Things don’t get much better higher up the income bracket. 72% of higher earners which are those who earn over £40,000 per year are more likely to experience stress and the associated effects at work.

What are the main causes of stress?

Long working hours (21%), the work of colleagues (14%) and their own performance (13%) are the main causes of stress in the UK workplace. This accounts for nearly 50% of the people surveyed. Men are almost 3 times as likely to cite long working hours as a cause of their stress than women.

Interestingly enough, issues with their boss or senior staff were only found to be the main cause of stress for 8% of British workers.

Workplace stress as the main cause of their mental health was significantly higher than family, monetary or relationship problems.

What are firms doing about it?

We explored the actions of SMEs and what they are doing to combat the effects of poor mental health at work in a previous post.

One law firm saw a 46% drop in staff sickness and a one-day absence from work decrease of 24% by introducing measures such as subsiding gym memberships, offering mental health training as well as flexible working hours.

55% of workers stated that their company have put in place measures to help combat stress and the effects of stress, however, this can vary wildly between industries. For example, the transport, leisure and hospitality industries were less likely to introduce measures to help with workplace stress while the Travel, Utilities and Information and Communication sectors did the most to help their staff.

Stress and the British workplace

It’s obvious that stress and the associated poor mental health are still major issues in UK workplace’s although more is being done to tackle the problem.

While there is a long way to go in terms of introducing preventative and reactive measures against this, the data shows that progress is being made in some areas.

Does your workplace offer help for employee’s suffering from stress? Is it something you would feel comfortable speaking to your boss about?

Let us know.

Workplace stress in the UK - safety training UK wide.

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