03-Apr-2018

UK businesses encouraged to support stressed workers

UK businesses encouraged to support stressed workers

UK businesses are reluctant to support stressed workers, according to a recent study. Perkbox, the UK’s fastest-growing employee benefits platform, conducted a study of 3,000 UK workers and found that many businesses are risking having their workforce experience severe burnouts. The study revealed that for British adults in employment, work is the most common cause of stress at 59%, yet almost one in two businesses do not offer any help to alleviate stress.

The research by Perkbox forms part of the company’s 2018 UK Workplace Stress Report, and revealed that 1 in 4 people struggle to be productive at work when stressed, and that at least 1 in 10 will call in sick due to stress. These statistics, although shocking, are worsened by the revelation that companies do not appear to be supporting their employees.

The survey shows that businesses in the hospitality industry are the least likely to provide any guidance to help their staff cope with stress. The plumbing and construction sectors formed part of the top five industries which are least likely to see employees offered help or assistance with managing work-related stress. The locations also vary greatly, with high levels of work stress being experienced among workers in Cardiff (70%), Coventry (57%), London (59%) and the North West (55%).

Chieu Cao, CMO and co-founder at Perkbox said: “It’s worrying to see how few businesses seem to be considering stress levels within their workforce their problem. And it is particularly ironic to see that almost 1 in 2 workers within the healthcare industry say their bosses do not offer anything to help them alleviate stress levels.

“This can have hugely damaging effects on morale, productivity and sickness absence – all of which ultimately contribute to a company’s overall success – and it is important for bosses to recognise the contribution that work makes to employee stress levels.”

April is Stress Awareness Month. Since it was launched in 1992, this campaign has enlisted the help of teams of experts to increase public awareness about stress, including in the workplace. Some of Perkbox’s recommended measures to improve the morale of staff include:

  • Flexible working
  • Considering requests to work from home
  • Enforcing 1-2-1s with managers to allow employees to discuss concerns and motivations
  • Offering gym memberships or exercise classes
  • Offering discounted or complimentary counselling or mental health services

This report shows that the issue of workplace stress is sector-wide, so whether you’re working in healthcare or in energy recruitment, it’s important to provide the correct support to help reduce employees’ stress levels and in turn, boost productivity.