Employers must play role in reducing workplace stress

Almost half (48%) of employee respondents said that stress impacts negatively on their working life, according to research by Canada Life Group.

The research, which surveyed 1,613 UK employees, found that, of those who found their anxieties impacted on their working life in 2012, 20% said their employer was understanding, 8% received help through an employee assistance programme (EAP), and 17% received no support from their employer, despite informing them about their concerns.

The research also found:

  • 61% of respondents found 2012 more stressful than 2011.
  • 26% of respondents felt overworked and had a poor work-life balance.
  • 22% of respondents who experienced problems with stress in 2012 were too embarrassed to ask for help.
  • 10% of respondents had to take time off work as a result of stress.

Paul Avis, marketing director at Canada Life Group, said: “It is worrying that problems within the workplace were a major cause of anxiety [in 2012].

“Employers should take note that this caused one in ten of the UK employees we surveyed to take time off work, while many saw a negative effect on their concentration levels and productivity. These statistics clearly demonstrate it is in an employer’s interest to take issues involving stress seriously.

“An employee should never feel too embarrassed to let their boss know the damaging effect stress is having on their life. Now is the time for employers to reassess how they support their workers in terms of stress, making sure that access to employee assistance programmes is well publicised and without stigma.”