One in three UK businesses has experienced increased staff absence because of workplace stress in the past 12 months, according to a poll of 100 senior HR and finance executives by employee wellbeing firm vielife and London South Bank University.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents indicated that long working hours and heavy workloads were their biggest cause of workplace health concern.
The majority of UK workplaces questioned still suffered from numerous “unhealthy workplace practices”, it found, including a prevalence of unhealthy eating and junk food, drinking to excess, caffeine dependence, smoking and lack of exercise.
Social networking was also having an effect, in that it was reducing time spent away from the desk during breaks and lunch within one-third of organisations.
Three in 10 of those polled still saw health benefits as an employee “perk” rather than a necessary business investment.