Almost two fifths of employees have seriously considered resigning in the past year because of stress at work, according to research by MetLife Employee Benefits.
The nationwide study found the most stressful workplace issue was colleagues failing to do their jobs properly with nearly half of the employees surveyed blaming failures by fellow workers for their stress. However, pressure to hit sales and performance targets and being understaffed were also cited as major causes of stress by 45% of employees.
The research found 47% of employees say their job is stressful on a day-to-day basis while 48% say the stress levels have increased in the past year. Just one in 10, say their job has become less stressful.
However, the study’s authors say there is some evidence that companies are tackling the issue – around one in four employees who raised complaints about stress with their employer say action was taken.
Tom Gaynor, Employee Benefits Director of MetLife UK, said: “It is shocking that nearly two out of five employees have considered resigning because of workplace stress. Losing staff because of stress issues is worrying but just as damaging is the impact on work performance when employees are unhappy.”
A recent study by performance expert Chantal Burns, author of Instant Motivation, also points to the impact of stress at work. It found the average British adult will spend more than one third of their working lifetime feeling stressed or anxious – a total of 3,528 days or 28,224 hours over the course of a normal 42-year career. Moreover, only six per cent of people who feel stressed or anxious at work will confide in a manager. Almost double just “suffer in silence”.
Burns says stress has a negative impact on two-thirds of the British workforce by reducing levels of motivation, productivity and self-confidence and some seven per cent of workers have taken up to five days off work in a year because of stress, anxiety or depression. Her survey found that in total Britons experience stress for 35 per cent of the average working lifetime and nearly two thirds of respondents said the main reason they don’t perform to the best of their ability is because of stress, anxiety or worry.