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Stress worse at home than at work for a fifth

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Just 46% of employees say they feel able to discuss stress at home with their managers

One in five (19%) employees are more stressed at home than at work, according to MetLife’s Building Resilience In The Workplace report.

The research found that 67% of workers feel domestic issues – including childcare, looking after elderly parents, and financial pressures – are having an impact on their work performance. A fifth (21%) of women said their home life is more stressful than work, compared with 15% of men. Just 46% of employees feel able to discuss home stress with their managers, however.

Tom Gaynor, employee benefits director of MetLife UK, said employers can help by equipping staff with the tools to cope with stressful home situations.

“Managers have a crucial role to play in helping employees manage their own stress and we know from our Employee Benefit Trends study that a supportive manager is a significant driver of employee engagement,” he said. “Creating a supportive leadership culture helps managers tune in to employees’ emotional ups and downs."

While staff report stressful home lives, working from home appears to be on the rise according to separate research from the TUC, suggesting a need to assist employees to work remotely in an effective rather than stressful way.

The TUC's research found that the number of UK employees who say they usually work from home has increased by a fifth (19%) over the past 10 years.

Men accounted for the majority of homeworkers, with 912,000 regularly working from home in 2015 compared with 609,000 women. However, the biggest growth in regular home working was among female employees, with 35% (157,000) more working from home in 2015 than in 2005.

Despite the potential issues highlighted by MetLife's survey, TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said more employers should consider offering home working.

"Modern home working is good for the economy as it helps businesses hold on to talented staff and boosts productivity,” she explained. “And it allows those with caring responsibilities or a disability greater access to the jobs market.

"While home working may not work in all professions I would urge employers to look at the value it can bring to their business and their workforce."