Workplace stress notched-up by recession
Millions of working days are being lost every year as Britain’s long-hours culture afflicts employees with work-related stress, depression and anxiety.
According to research by Aviva Risk Management Solutions (ARMS), 13.5 million working days were lost in 2007-08 due to work-related mental health problems.
ARMS believes the problem is set to heighten as businesses stretched by the recession put additional strain on employees.
“According to The Trade Union Congress, the credit crunch is putting extra pressure on people in both their personal and professional lives, with four million in the UK working over 48 hours a week and a worrying percentage of the population working more than 60 hours per week,” said James Draper, ARMS principal consultant.
ARMS’s study found that six in ten workers blame the economic climate for increased stress and pressure at the workplace.
Over a third (37%) of employees are failing to take lunch breaks.
Worryingly, 45% admitted that their workplace makes no provision for dealing with stress.
Long working hours can cause serious problems for employee health, ARMS said, including musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular disorders, chronic infections, depression, stress, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
“Other problems associated with working longer hours include headaches, reduced immune system, extreme fatigue and insomnia,” Draper added.