Monday, 19 November 2012 10:41

1 in 3 cases of stress are work-related

The Telegraph, 19th November 2012.

A survey of 3,051 people reveals almost half have been significantly stressed in the last six months, with one in three of those saying their stress was work-related.

Workers who are stressed are less productive in their jobs, less engaged and more likely to report day-to-day health problems, such as insomnia, headaches and muscular aches and pains, the survey by Robertson Cooper showed.

Stressed-out workers are also more likely to be irritable, feel unable to cope and have mood swings, the survey, published on National Stress Awareness Day, found.

The findings follow a separate report this week which showed young workers are more prone to stress.

Experts said that young workers may feel more stressed than the older generation because they have more expectation on their shoulders. Young people may also be more aware of the telltale signs of stress than older people, the Friends Life research found.

Professor Ivan Robertson, founding director of Robertson Cooper, encourages people with stress to challenge demanding workloads "to get a sense of achievement".

He said: "As the evidence continues to grow on the effects of stress, it was no surprise to find that both sets of respondents who had encountered a major stressful event scored significantly less on all measures of health and well-being when compared to those who have not encountered a major stressful event.”

Managing stress in the workplace can also be a challenge for employers, experts say.

Felicity Staff, associate at Charles Russell law firm, said: "Management of work-related stress poses an ongoing challenge for any employer. While short periods of pressure can boost employee motivation and business performance, employers who overlook the damaging impact of excessive and sustained pressure on employees do so at their peril.

"Failure to establish clear strategies which prevent stress and which help employees to cope with stress-related illness, can result in low morale, increased sickness absence, higher staff turnover and, potentially, employment claims."

She said employers can adopt simple measures to spot the early warning signs of stress and provide appropriate support for employees. These include training for managers to teach them about the causes and symptoms of stress and know how to act.

"There is no doubt that taking steps to tackle stress in the workplace will benefit the health, well-being and morale of an employer’s workforce. Beyond that, though, it just makes good commercial sense,” she said.

DSE LegislationDSE Assessment