The majority of employees in the UK (80%) are suffering from stress, and over a quarter of those (28%) consider their work-related stress to be unmanageable, according to research by health insurance organisation Cigna.
The survey, which drew on 14,467 online interviews across 23 countries, highlighted the UK as the most stressed nation in Europe.
Fewer than one in 10 (9%) of employees in the UK said they had access to and use of a workplace wellbeing programme. One in three (29%) employees rated stress management as the second most desired healthcare benefit in the UK, and half (50%) would like flexible leave, although this was offered by only 17% of employers.
Phil Austin, chief executive of Cigna Europe, said: “From our research we can see that the majority of British workers feel stressed, yet only one in four of those who are stressed to have spoken to a medical professional to relieve this as they either believe they are strong enough to handle it or they simply don’t think it’s useful.
“This is concerning and highlights the important role and duty of care employers have to play in supporting their staff to address this.”
According to the survey, the UK is also more stressed than other nations by family and health issues, behind the likes of France, Germany and Spain. Three-quarters (75%) said they don’t have enough time to spend with friends, only a third (33%) said they had time for hobbies and two-thirds (67%) complained they didn’t get enough sleep at night.
He added: “Having the right support in place and early intervention can have significant positive impact on prognosis, reduce the cost of treatment and help employees return to work quickly.”