Almost half of employees feel more stressed at work than they did a year ago, according to research from Specialists4Protection.co.uk.
The research found that 46% felt more stressed at work than they did 12 months ago, compared to only 12% who felt less stressed compared with 12 months ago. Just under one in five (17%) employees felt their work stress levels are ‘much higher’ than they were 12 months ago.
Of those that were more stressed, 57% said they had been asked to do more under their current role, 26% thought their line manager was not doing a good enough job, and 26% were feeling the effects of financial strain experienced by their employer. A further 21% said they were experiencing more stress following a promotion within the past year.
This stress caused 16% of those polled to take medical advice to help them cope; 13% said they are on medication partly because of this.
More than half (55%) of those suffering work-related stress said it had adversely affected their sleep, and 19% claimed it had affected their relationship with their partner. Four out of 10 (40%) stated work-related stress meant they are not eating properly, and 42% were doing less exercise.
The stress increase was also found to be linked to absenteeism. In the first nine months of 2016 45% of those more stressed at work than a year ago had taken at least two extra days off work sick because of this.
Paul Litster, managing director of Specialists4Protection.co.uk, said he was concerned by the report's findings. “It’s not only the individuals who are suffering here but also their employers and the wider nation as the pressure on our NHS and health services increases,” he said. “Our findings are very concerning.
“Employee stress and sickness is already at crisis levels and as the problem gets worse it’s a ticking time-bomb."