Recruitment consultants are the most stressed out workers in the UK, according to a new survey.
The Stroke in Business report by The Stroke Association charity surveyed 1,000 workers in a variety of professions. It identified the recruitment sector as the most stressful working environment in the UK, with 82% of recruitment consultants regularly feeling stressed at work.
The report also looked into how workers deal with stress, finding that many respond in unhealthy ways, such as drinking (34%), smoking (23%), comfort eating (43%) and even taking recreational drugs (4%). The report calls on employers to do more to encourage staff to take regular exercise to combat stress.
The current tough economic conditions mean many recruitment consultants were likely to be feeling the pressure at work, according to Greg Orme, chief executive at recruitment company Major Players.
“It’s not surprising that people in our industry experience stress on a regular basis. We work in a highly competitive environment, sometimes working long hours to deliver results for our clients and candidates,” he said.
“When the economy isn’t as buoyant as normal, it can make the job even more demanding, so it’s vital that companies take steps to encourage their people to deal with stress in a healthy way.”
Each year an estimated 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. A common misconception is that strokes only affect older people, but about a quarter happen to people of working age.
Joe Korner, director of external affairs at The Stroke Association, said: “Stress clearly affects a great deal of the working population, and while stress in itself is undesirable, responding to it in the wrong ways can all lead to high blood pressure, which is the single biggest risk factor for stroke.”
The UK’s top 10 most stressful occupations
Marketing, advertising, PR
Healthcare, nursing, social services
Banking, insurance, finance
Customer services and call centres
Source: Stroke in Business report