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Study reveals shocking workplace stress statistics

Some 10% of UK workers are considering switching jobs as a result of stress, a new survey has found.

The study, by office supplies retailer Cartridge People, found that more than one in 10 Brits are currently thinking of leaving their job due to stress and more than one in 10 women have actually left a job in the past year due to stress.

It’s been reported that over 15 million days are lost every year due to employees suffering from work-related stress. Additionally, over 500,000 people in the UK feel ill as a result of their level of work-related stress. There are a growing number of reasons why. In addition to internal factors within a business that have a history of causing stress levels to rise such as a difficult work environment or an unhelpful boss, the impact of external factors such as Brexit are now starting to become a cause of stress.

“Looking into the reasons we’re stressed at work, the main one that stands out is workload, with a staggering 53% of women and 43% of men attributing that with why they’re stressed in the workplace,” said John Flanagan, Managing Director at Cartridge People.

“We can all find implementing new systems in work a stressful experience and so it’s no surprise to see technology the next highest cause of stress. Some 18% of men said they were stressed out by technology in their office or workplace while 23% of women said this was what made their stress level rise. At an unprecedented time of political uncertainty, we asked those who took part in our study whether Brexit was a reason they were stressed in work. The amount of UK workers to say this was a cause of stress was 15%.”

It’s often said that going for a walk to ‘clear your head’ is a good coping mechanism and 39% admitted to having to go for a walk away from the office or workplace as a result of being stressed at least once a week. The number of those who need to relieve stress by going for a walk every day is 18%. In women, nearly a quarter said they’d go for a walk at least once a day (24%).

When those who took part in the study – which involved 1,066 people – were asked how often they visited social media websites (including Snapchat and WhatsApp) to counter feeling stressed, 20% said they would go online at least once a day. However, the statistics for the number of women visiting social media when stressed revealed that 30% would use social media daily to cope with stress and half of those would visit social media sites at least three times a day.

Neil Shah, from The Stress Management Society, said: “The first step to meaningful change is to effectively engage people, start by opening up a positive dialogue and to de-stigmatise the subject. Make it ‘ok to not be ok’, and that admitting that you are feeling mentally or emotionally compromised is not viewed as a sign of weakness – more a sign of strength by willing to ask for support.

“From an organisational perspective, establish a ‘wellbeing GPS’ approach. Just like a satnav you need clarity as to where you currently are on your wellbeing journey, have clarity regarding what success looks like (what does a wellbeing culture look like in your organisation?) and then creating a strategic approach to get you there. The journey starts by conducting a Wellbeing Insights Audit to establish what is the current cultural, commercial and risk management challenges to your organisation. It is imperative for employers to ensure that the wellbeing of their employees is being effectively measured and supported, with a clear people, culture and wellbeing strategy to guide it.”

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