New study finds stress epidemic at work

Date: 7 November 2018

New study finds stress epidemic at work

It's International Stress Awareness Week and a new report has found that stress in the workplace is damaging the wellbeing of employees and reducing productivity.

A poll of 1,600 workers by Wrike has found that more than two-fifths of British workers regularly lose sleep as a result of workplace stress. Just under a third of UK employees (32%) also admit losing their temper in the workplace due to stress, while a further 29% say stress has affected their home life.

In contrast, US workers are almost twice as likely than their UK counterparts (33% to 19% respectively) to say that a little bit of stress helps them focus and complete a task, and half as likely to say it causes them to become unproductive (9%).

Other key findings of the study include:

  • 46% of UK workers say they have looked for a new job because of the stress associated with their current role;
  • Around a third of UK workers say they can handle some stress but that their work quality suffers;
  • 26% of UK workers have taken unplanned time off because of workplace stress;
  • 67% of respondents said their stress levels have risen from moderate to unsustainably high at times;
  • The same people were 87% more likely to experience higher stress levels after receiving a work text or email outside of working hours compared with those that have lower levels of stress.

Wrike's report - The Stress Epidemic - has been published to coincide with International Stress Awareness Week, organised by ISMA. Now in its 20 th year, the 2018 event is focussing on the role of technology and the ways in which it can both cause and relieve stress in an always-on world.

Patricia DuChene, vice president of sales and general manager of EMEA at Wrike, said: "Employers need to share in the responsibility for their employees' wellbeing, particularly when it comes to stress. Stress is strongly linked to productivity - a fifth of all UK employees say stress in the workplace makes them twice as likely to switch off or become less productive and that should worry business and government alike. Equally alarming is that 42% of UK workers say they regularly lose sleep because of work-related stress.

"Employees and their managers are constantly bombarded with the 'noise' of work; disparate communications across multiple channels (emails, chats, meetings) and inefficient processes that lead to frustration and the feeling that little is actually getting done. Between incessant notifications and waiting for others to get work done, productivity plummets as stress levels rise."

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