Higher earners most likely to experience work-related stress


Just under three-quarters (72%) of respondents earning more than £40,000 per annum experience work-related stress, making this the most likely earnings group to do so, according to research by Perkbox.

Its 2018 UK workplace stress survey, which surveyed over 3,000 British workers over the age of 18, also found that long working hours are the most common cause of work-related stress, cited by 21%, followed by concerns about work performance, be it respondents’ own (13%) or that of others such as junior members of staff (14%).

The research also found:

  • Just over half (55%) of respondents say that their employer has measures in place to help staff manage and reduce stress levels, and improve mental wellbeing.
  • Just over a fifth (21%) of respondents’ organisations allow employees to work flexibly to help manage stress, while 18% allow staff to work from home.
  • Just 8% of respondents work for an organisation that offers a counselling service for staff, while only 6% say that their employer offers them stress management and/or stress resilience training.
  • The travel industry is the most likely offer employer-funded benefits to help staff manage stress levels, with 87% of respondents in this sector saying this is the case. This is followed by the utilities sector (82%), information and communications (75%) and financial services (72%).
  • Employers in the media (15%), education (14%), and local or national government (13%) were the least likely to offer stress management and resilience training.
  • Just over one in 10 (11%) respondents say their employer allows them to take mental health days.

Chieu Cao (pictured), co-founder and chief marketing officer at Perkbox, said: “It’s worrying to see how few businesses seem to be considering stress levels within their workforce their problem. And it is particularly ironic to see that almost one in two workers within the healthcare industry say their bosses do not offer anything to help them alleviate stress levels.

“This can have hugely damaging effects on morale, productivity and sickness absence, all of which ultimately contribute to [an organisation’s] overall success, and it is important for bosses to recognise the contribution that work makes to employee stress levels.

“Introducing measures that help to reduce stress or encourage positive coping methods need not be particularly involved or expensive, even free things as simple as introducing flexible working, considering requests to work from home from time to time, or enforcing one-to-ones with managers, to allow employees to discuss concerns and motivations, can go a long way to help. But ultimately, measures which tackle staff stress head-on work best, including gym membership or exercise classes, discounted or complimentary counselling and mental health services and even spa vouchers.”