National Work Life Week: Employees consumed by stress

Workers report that stress is an issue in their current workplace, with nearly two thirds (61.9 per cent) believing their employer looks down on workers who get stressed.

The study by CV-Library, commissioned for National Work Life Week, finds that the majority of employees (57.4 per cent) believe that their manager does not offer support to help them manage stress at work.

According to the research, bad management is the biggest cause of stress at work (65.8 per cent), followed by low morale within the workplace (38.1 per cent), unfriendly colleagues (35.7 per cent), and heavy workloads (34.1 per cent).

Long working hours (29.3 per cent), and poor work-life balance (25.5 per cent) are other major causes of stress, according to the survey of 1,200 UK workers,.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library says that the findings reveal the true extent of workplace stress across UK organisations and the impact that poor management has on workers’ wellbeing.

‘As a nation, we are battling with heavier workloads and longer working hours and this is resulting in a poor work-life balance for many. While it can be difficult to take a step back from work, especially with an increasing amount of technology at our fingertips, creating a balance between our professional and personal lives is important.’

Stress could mean you lose your key people

He adds that, for employers, high stress levels not only impact overall productivity, but can also place organisations in a compromising position, as workers under a great amount of strain are more likely to turn on their heels and look for a better working environment elsewhere.

‘This makes it more important than ever for management teams to take on the responsibility for keeping their staff happy and productive in the workplace and help to alleviate some of the pressures that their employees are facing.’

Some 89 per cent of workers think that being susceptible to stress at work can have an impact on career progression, with over two thirds (67 per cent) believing that this is because stress can negatively affect performance in the workplace.

A further 66.8 per cent think that it is because employees should be able to handle some stress within their working lives, while 46.9 per cent say that stress can make employees burn out, causing them to take time away from work.

Biggins says, ‘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.

‘This National Work Life Week, I would encourage organisations across the UK to remain supportive of workers and pay closer attention to signs of stress in the workplace. This will help companies to not only retain staff, but also attract new talent going forward, which will be vital for many businesses as we approach the run-up to Christmas.’

Further reading on work-life balance

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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Work-life balance