Staff stress levels on the increase

Workers are suffering from more stress and worries compared to this time last year, according to new research.

A study of 2,000 employees by training provider LearnHR found that 49% said they were feeling more anxious than last year, largely down to the impact the financial crisis has had on the UK economy.

More than a third (38%) felt insecure in their jobs, and a fifth (20%) were expecting to be off sick at some point in 2009 due to stress-related illness.

Some 29% of respondents admitted to having already seen their levels of productivity and efficiency drop.

Christine Tebbutt, education director at LearnHR, said: “These are worrying times for companies and their staff up and down the country, but increased stress levels only add to the problem.

“Now more than ever, we need a workforce which is operating to its full potential, and it is vital that businesses recognise the role that HR and personnel departments play in rebuilding confidence and maintaining a productive workforce.”

Tebbutt encouraged employers to invest time, resources and training in their HR teams and line managers to ensure they dealt with stress at an early stage.

Other survey findings included:

  • 36% of UK workers are worried about paying their mortgage or rent

  • Nearly half (49%) of all workers questioned don’t feel they have a good work-life balance

  • Workers in the West Midlands (57%) and London (52%) are experiencing the highest stress levels of the past 12 months

  • Staff in Yorkshire and Humberside feel most secure in their jobs (50%), whereas workers in the West Midlands (43%) and London (40%) feel the least secure.

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