Workplace stress takes its toll

Over 50 per cent of workers claim stress is having a detrimental effect on their
work and home life

More than half of UK employees suffer from stress at work, with long hours
blamed as the main culprit.

The research by the International Stress Management Association UK and
insurer Royal & SunAlliance was published to coincide with last month’s
National Stress Awareness Day.

It found one in two (53 per cent) workers have experienced stress at work
during the past 12 months.

One in four said they have needed time off work as a result. Too much work
is the most common cause of stress, with almost three-quarters citing it as the
main reason.

Other stress catalysts include deadline pressures (62 per cent), an
unsupportive work environment (40 per cent) and problems with maintaining an
acceptable work-life balance (40 per cent).

More than half said stress is damaging their health, 65 per cent believe it
is reducing job satisfaction and 41 per cent feel it is lowering productivity.

Stress also causes social lives to deteriorate and leads to problems with

Isma UK chairwoman Carole Spiers said: "If we were talking about a flu
epidemic rather than stress at work there would be a public outcry about the
scale of the problem. But while given sufficient time, flu tends to go away of
its own accord, stress at work certainly does not."

One in four employees said they work more than five days a week and almost a
third work more than 48 hours a week, despite the limits of the Working Time

Of those who work more than five days a week, 54 per cent said they do so
because it is required by their employer, and three out of five said they are
not being paid for the extra hours they work. Women are less likely to be paid
than men.

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