A survey conducted by Perkbox found that work is the most common cause of stress for UK adults.
A worrying 59% of people surveyed admitted to this fact and this growing work problem is the root cause of many, many further anxieties and ailments costing UK business £29 billion a year, up £1 billion from the last two years.
An additional, more recent joint study between SimplyHealth and the CIPD have found similar detrimental effects on people’s lifestyles and mental health due to work. They stated ‘Overall, the findings reflect employers’ growing recognition of their critical role in improving the health of the workforce. But the survey highlights some cause for concern, including an increase in stress-related absence and a lack of support for managers, who are increasingly expected to take responsibility for their team’s well-being’.
All this data has backed up the findings of Ipswich based PolkadotFrog Recruitment who continually strive to make sure they place the right candidates, with the right experience, with the right role and making sure the candidates not only match well but are happy with their new role on placement.
PolkadotFrog Recruitment founding director Lucy Tufts said “Being honest and up-front about the full remit of the role can save headaches later. Taking extra time to really understand the full extent of the job and relaying that to the candidate in friendly but frank terms puts everyone at ease, candidate, client and recruiter alike. Candidates will naturally have added anxiety when starting a new position, so throwing in previously unmentioned responsibility or working hours just fuels the fire and can lead to incremental stress issues… and ultimately resignations, dismissals and health issues which is not good for anyone. We do as we say here at PolkadotFrog in that we have a flexitime system in place ourselves. Happiness – therefore productivity – is enhanced by adopting things like home-working where our employees have the chance to work from home when it’s needed and this is made possible by our CRM management system. It’s all about the work/life balance”.
According to the Perkbox research, the biggest work-related contributor to stress is long working hours, which impacts 21% of people. Happiness in a job is essential to employee productivity with 39% working harder if they’re happy in their current job or workplace.
Further stats show sleep loss (65%) is the most prevalent impact that stress has on UK adults, followed by experiencing anxiety (47%), disrupted concentration (37%), comfort eating (35%) and being less productive at work (32%)
Employees feel obligated to either work longer hours or to be contactable outside of working hours, with 50% of people checking their emails outside of work. Working more hours than standard can affect health, with anything over 39 hours a week being seen as detrimental to health by some experts.
One solution to this problem is time management. Time management can help employees feel more in control of their workload and can reduce the pressure they feel to work longer hours. This could include flexitime.
Ultimately, management must play a role in helping employees to reduce extensive working hours, but workers can proactively take steps to support themselves too.