Four in five office workers ‘burnt out’, claims report

Four in five office workers feel burnt out, with the majority expecting their stress levels to increase further, according to project management platform Workfront.

Its UK workers: stressed, overworked, and under-appreciated report, which was published ahead of National Stress Awareness Month this month, claimed that 60% of office workers in the UK felt excessive workloads and competing deadlines were contributing to their stress levels.

More than half (57%) complained that a lack of communication with other employees and no visibility into the work other colleagues were doing made them feel stressed, while 37% said poor access to resources and the information needed to complete their work put them under strain.

The majority (90%) of the 1,000 full-time office workers polled believed that workplace stress was having a negative effect on their work/life balance, and almost three-quarters (73%) expected that they would become more stressed at work in future.

Some were choosing to work for longer than their contracted hours to complete their tasks. 52% said they often worked 1.5 hours of overtime per week, while 30% claimed they put in an additional six to 10 hours.

The report said: “Office workers are becoming frustrated and burned out by poor work tools, processes, and communication.

“These workers are also willing to consider some non-traditional alternatives to reduce this stress.”

Almost two-thirds (60%) said they would like their employer to provide them with the structures and tools to enable a good support system to help reduce stress, while 57% believed more involvement in decision-making and frequent contact with management would help them better manage their workload.

Free stress-relief sessions, such as yoga, were suggested by 22% of workers as a way employers could help reduce office worker stress levels.

Outside of a financial incentive to reward staff who have managed their workload under stressful conditions, 60% of employees said increasing their holiday allowance would be motivating.

A third (34%) said they would welcome an allowance towards the cost of leisure activities, and the same proportion considered the offer of sabbatical periods an incentive to work under stress.

A separate report published earlier this year by RobertsonCooper and the British Safety Council found that working practices likely to become commonplace in the future, such as working alongside artificial intelligence or robots, will place further pressure on employees and increase stress.

It recommended that the Government looked at incentives for employers to introduce health and wellbeing programmes that aim to tackle employees’ future needs.

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