Majority of employees blame work for illness

Seven out of 10 employees believe work has made them ill, according to a new

The research by the Work Life Balance Centre and Keele University shows
almost nine out of 10 employees suffer general stress generally. The most
common symptoms of this are irritability, fatigue, a lack of concentration and

More than four out of 10 staff said they go to work even when they feel ill
while one in five pretend to be ill to take a day off.

Almost a third said work leaves them too tired for sex. Staff in the North
West and North East are most badly affected, with four out of 10 workers being
too tired to perform in the bedroom.

More staff, better communication between staff and management, less
management bullying and better workload planning are all cited by the 306 staff
surveyed as potential solutions to stress.

Despite the problems, over half of those questioned said they enjoy the
challenge of their jobs.

Julie Hurst, director of the Work Life Balance Centre, said that if
employers ignore the work-life balance agenda, they are limiting the
productivity of their company.

She said: "People do enjoy their jobs, but resent the demands it makes
on their private lives. Unless employers help address the negatives, they are
missing out on a great deal of goodwill and enthusiasm that could ultimately
help make the company more successful."

Dr Wendy Richards, lecturer in industrial relations at Keele University,
said a lack of work-life balance policies in UK industry is costing billions.

She said: "It is important we tackle the area of work-life balance as
high levels of illness are costing British industry billions of pounds each
year. Illness levels seem to be rising which means we could face even more
problems in the future."

By Paul Nelson

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