Five eye-opening facts about work related stress
April is Stress Awareness Month, so we’re looking at some of the facts, myths, science and pseudoscience that surrounds the subject. Here we focus on work-related stress.
Workload is the leading cause of work-related stress
A Labour Force survey on work-related stress found workload to be the leading cause, with 44% of those citing it as the main factor. Other key areas were a lack of support (14%), bullying (13%), change (8%), and ‘other’ (21%).
A survey by Forth found that, in addition to work, the main areas of worry for Brits are money, health, sleep and household chores.
Health and social workers suffer more stress than any other profession
A 2017 report by the HSE showed that stress is more prevalent in public service industries, such as education, health and social care, public administration and defence.
Out of these groups, health and social workers suffer the most stress, followed by public administration and defence, then education.
Stress accounts for 35% of work-related illness
A 2016 article by Ashburnham Insurance reported that, based on HSE statistics, 35% of work-related illness is due to stress. However, earlier studies suggest that stress could be going dramatically underreported, as around 95% of employees who call in sick with stress give a different reason.
The larger the business, the larger the problem
In the same article by Ashburnham, it was reported that larger businesses are more affected by stress. Companies with over 250 employees have an average of 1550 cases of stress per 100,000 employees. At the other end of the scale, companies with fewer than 50 employees experience 910 cases of stress per 100,000 employees.
12.5 million working days were lost last year
In 2017/2017, 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. The figure rose from 11.7 million days in the previous year, showing a year-on-year increase of 6.8%.
Note that some of the above-mentioned studies combine figures for work-related stress with work-related anxiety and depression. While these conditions can act differently, there is a close causal relationship between them, which means figures can be difficult to separate.
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