Is work making you ill?

More than half of staff believe their work has made them ill, according to a survey by the Work Life Balance Centre.

The 24-7 report about a survey of 1,200 people found that most (60 per cent) felt their workloads to be out of control occasionally and 19 per cent felt this way most or all of the time.

This is resulting in symptoms which include extreme tiredness, sleeplessness, irritability with colleagues and panic attacks.

Despite these findings, most respondents (53 per cent) enjoyed the challenges of their job and 47 per cent felt more fulfilled when busy.

Julie Hurst, director of the Work Life Balance Centre, said the survey demonstrated the complicated nature of our relationship with work and the role it plays in people’s lives.

“On the one hand people feel very positively towards work – enjoying the challenges and sense of fulfilment it provides,” she said.

“On the other hand there are high levels of work-related illness, resentment of long hours, feelings of being out of control and signs that workloads are continuing to increase.

“Finding the answer to true balance among these conflicting issues and attitudes is a real challenge and must embrace the dynamic and changing nature of the people involved,” she said.

More than one third of respondents (36.2 per cent) felt that extra staff would be the answer to overworking issues.

Almost as many wanted less red tape (34.7 per cent), more effective managers and colleagues (32.5 per cent) and better communication (32.4 per cent).

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