Work is most stressful factor in people’s lives

Work is the most stressful factor in people’s lives, according to research by mental health charity Mind.

The research, which surveyed more than 2,000 working adults, found that 34% of respondents said their work life was either very or quite stressful, more so than debt or financial problems (30%) or health (17%).

It found that a culture of fear and silence about stress and mental health problems is costly to employers. For instance, 19% of respondents have taken a day off sick because of stress, but 90% of these told their employer a different reason for their absence.

The research also found:

  • 9% of respondents have resigned from a job due to stress
  • 25% of respondents have considered resigning due to work pressures.
  • 19% of respondents felt they could not tell their boss if they were overly stressed.
  • While 22% of respondents have a diagnosed mental health problem, only 10% have told their boss about their diagnosis.
  • 56% of manager respondents said they would like to do more to improve the mental wellbeing of employees, but they needed more training and/or guidance.
  • 46% of manager respondents said they would like to do more to improve the mental wellbeing of employees, but it is not a priority

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: “Work-related mental health problems are an issue too important for organisations to ignore.

“Our research shows that employees are still experiencing high levels of stress at work, which is negatively impacting their physical and mental health.

“We know that right now, one in six workers is experiencing depression, stress or anxiety, and yet our survey tells us that most managers don’t feel they have had enough training or guidance to support them.

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“Improving mental wellbeing in the workplace doesn’t have to cost a lot. Our research shows that people whose organisations offered flexible working hours and generous annual leave said such measures supported their mental wellbeing.

“Three in five people said that if their employer took action to support the mental wellbeing of all staff, they would feel more loyal, motivated, committed and be likely to recommend their workplace as a good place to work.”