Nearly two thirds of UK employees say they experience stress in their jobs, a new has argued. The good news is nearly half of employers say they are proactively trying to do something about it, such as stress management training, seminars, counselling and more time off. The bad news is this still leaves more than half who, it appears, couldn’t care less.
Employee health and wellbeing – rolling up your sleeves to tackle workplace stress
Nearly two thirds (63%) of UK employees say they experience stress in their jobs, according to research into workplace happiness by analytics company Happiness Works on behalf of recruitment firm Robert Half UK.
Of those who said they found their roles demanding, nearly one in ten said their job was “very” stressful, the poll added.
While such high levels of stress are, of course, worrying, the good news is that many employers do appear to be being proactive in how they respond and introducing a range of wellbeing initiatives to support the physical and mental health of employees at work.
Nearly half (48%) of businesses polled said they offered tools designed to promote wellbeing in the workplace, with one in seven providing stress management seminars or training and annual leave for personal and mental wellbeing.
Counselling and flexi-time
Other initiatives being introduced include counselling (for example EAPs) (17%), leaving work early on a Friday (17%) and limiting the amount of overtime that employees can do (11%).
Alongside introducing flexible working policies (17%), organisations were rethinking how the design of the workplace affected health, wellbeing and productivity.
One in seven employers said they had developed ergonomic workplaces and supplied healthy food or drinks.
Employers were also turning to new measures that encouraged physical wellbeing. One in five said they had introduced company bicycle or cycling schemes, followed by subsidised gym membership (15%), corporate sporting and fitness (10%) and tools such as fitness trackers or step counters, which all encouraged employees to be more active (9%).
“Starting a wellbeing programme may come at a cost, but health and happiness go hand-in-hand,” said Phil Sheridan, senior managing director at Robert Half UK.
“Creating a working environment that encourages good health fosters a more stable workforce. It also helps facilitate better team relationships, which in turn drives employee satisfaction, performance and morale,” he added.
Resilience tools and training
So, what should employers take away from this?
As we’ve highlighted recently on this site, in research from insurer and healthcare provider AXA PPP healthcare, the desire for greater resilience, the desire to be given tools and strategies to help you bounce back from the stresses, strains and anxieties of the workplace, is strong among many employees.
And it is extremely positive that many employers (if not all by any means) are now recognising this and putting in a place a mixture of resources, tools and benefits, as well as understanding the links there can be between physical and mental wellbeing.
Given the current climate of low unemployment and yet worries about Britain’s future post-Brexit competitiveness and productivity, employers can ill afford to be losing employees to illness, of whatever reason.
Tackling mental ill-health and reducing absence because of stress and anxiety does take time and commitment, but it can be done. And the quicker employers recognise this, the better.Tags: OH, OH Assist
Posted in Occupational health by OH Assist on the 14th July 2017