Medicash research: Men more likely to be absent due to stress

Men are four times more likely than women to phone in sick due to work related stress, according to a survey from Medicash, the healthcare cash plan provider.

In the survey of 3,000 workers, 20% of men admitted to taking two sick days in the past month because of stress, while twice as many men turn to alcohol as a result of work-induced stress compared to women. One in five men confessed to needing to drink after work most days. 

Although men and women react differently, stress is a problem for both sexes, with 31% of women and 24% of men saying they often feel stressed.

Medicash chief executive Sue Weir said: “Small amounts of pressure at work can enhance our performance but if that pressure becomes unremitting it can seriously affect our health. Regularly feeling stressed can lead to sickness, long term absenteeism and even a dependence on alcohol or drugs.

For women, dealing with difficult customers or clients is the most common trigger, whereas for male colleagues a heavy workload causes the most problems.

Outside of the office, both men and women cite rudeness and bad manners as the most likely factors to get them worked up and angry.

Women reported higher incidents of stress related ill health. Headaches were the number one symptom, with 69% of women suffering compared to 45% of men while 57% of women and 40% of men reported problems sleeping.

“Workplace stress can be damaging on any level, affecting both the employee and employer,” added Weir.

“Bosses have a duty of care and responsibility to look after their workforce and have systems in place to address stress at work. Encouraging a work/life balance, having open channels of communication between staff and managers, and providing access to counselling services are some of the things employers can do to combat stress.”

Top 5 work stress triggers for women 

  1. Dealing with difficult clients/customers

  2. Heavy workload
  3. Computer freezing in the middle of an important job
  4. Boss demanding too much extra work 

  5. Computer taking too long to get going 

Top 5 work stress triggers for men

  1. Heavy workload

  2. Boss demanding too much extra work

  3. Dealing with difficult clients/customers
  4. Computer freezing in the middle of an important job
  5. Boss asking for work to be done which is outside job description 

See more on work-related stress