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Perkbox study reveals UK bosses are risking workforce stress burnout

With April marking Stress Awareness Month, a new report has found UK businesses are in danger of having their workforces experience burnout, as despite a huge number feeling stressed at work, few bosses are doing anything to help.

For those British adults in employment, work is by far the most common cause of stress (59 per cent). Yet almost one in two (45 per cent) of British businesses do not offer anything to help alleviate this, according to a study of 3,000 UK workers carried out by Perkbox, the UK’s fastest growing employee benefits platform, as part of the 2018 UK Workplace Stress Report.

This is despite the fact that one in four (25 per cent) struggle to be as productive at work when stressed, and almost the same number find themselves disengaged with work as a result. In fact, at least one in 10 (10 per cent) of us will call in sick due to stress, while seven per cent will look for a new job.

The study revealed businesses within the hospitality industry are the least likely to provide any kind of guidance or aid to help employees deal with stress, with as many as 64 per cent of workers in this industry claiming that this is the case. This was closely followed by the leisure sector where 63 per cent of businesses are guilty of doing nothing to help.

More than one in two (55 per cent) bosses within transport – where employees experiencing high levels of stress and burn out can be particularly risky – leave employees to manage work stress with no guidance or assistance.

The plumbing and construction (54 per cent), healthcare and education industries (both 45 per cent respectively) completed the list of the top five sectors which are least likely to see employees offered help or assistance with managing levels of work-related stress.

Chieu Cao, CMO & Co-Founder 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 do 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 a company’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 1-2-1s 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.” 

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About Sarah OBeirne

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