Seven out of 10 UK employees think personal issues are much more stressful than work pressures, a survey has revealed.
The research, by online pollster YouGov for Croner HR consultancy, asked 2,770 employees to rank ‘stress triggers’ in both their work and personal lives.
Financial worries (voted for by 27% of participants), relationship problems (15%) and achieving work-life balance (12%) were found to be the main causes of stress, with only a quarter (25%) citing work-related issues as a problem.
Of these heavy workloads (8%), pay (4%) and poor working relationships (3%) were seen as the main issues.
However, only 14% of respondents said they never got stressed at work.
Gillian Dowling, employment technical consultant at Croner, said: “Although workplace factors feature lower down our stress trigger league, stress is still a big issue for employers who must treat it as they would any other workplace health hazard.
“Responsible employers should be able to spot physical signs of stress, but what the survey results show is that domestic issues can significantly contribute to the problem,” said Dowling. “This can make it difficult for employers to identify the root cause of suspected stress and to decide whether they should take action.”
Dowling said there was a fine line in determining the causes of stress, but added that employers needed to be more proactive about dealing with it.
“If the employee communicates, or the employer suspects, that workplace factors are to blame for stress, the employer must investigate this further and make the necessary changes to ease the pressure.”