According to the contractor payroll and accountancy firm’s research, which was created in line with International Stress Awareness Week and National Stress Awareness Day 2019 in the UK, one-quarter (26 per cent) of employees surveyed from 140 organisations have taken paid time off / holiday leave to deal with excessive stress caused by work – and 15 per cent have even taken unpaid leave for the same reason. In fact, only 11 per cent of those surveyed said that they have never been affected by excessive stress in the workplace.
But what’s causing this stress and what are the long-term solutions? Around three in 10 respondents cited inflexible working hours as a major cause for stress, and employers should be concerned to know that 32 per cent of respondents dealt with this stress by simply cutting their workplace ties and getting a new job entirely.
“Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Pressure at work is usually the main culprit and when budgets are tight and teams are small, people often find themselves with multiple roles and heavy workloads, piling on the stress,” Richard Holmes, Director of Wellbeing at UK-based health insurance firm Westfield Health, commented.
And really, it shouldn’t be this way, as some solutions are easy to roll out and should take little toll on a well-managed business’ operations. As Holmes points out: “Policies like flexible or remote working can help employees balance work and home life, and things like turning off email servers outside of working hours helps ring-fence valuable recovery time. Mental health first aid training can also help managers spot the signs or triggers and put preventions in place.”
Read Dolan Contractor Group's study results in full here.