Stress a major issue for 98% of workplaces

by AB10 May 2013

Stress management is a key focus for UK employers for the next two years, according to Tower Watson’s latest Health, Wellbeing and Productivity survey.

According to the survey, 98% of employers that are able to measure wellbeing feel stress is an issue for their workforce. Complementing this would be fact that mental health of workers ranks as the second highest priority for employers (62%), with raising employee engagement being their number one priority.

As for reasons for stress, most employers believed that excessive workload and/or long hours are the most significant causes of stress, at 86%. Also, technology’s role at the workplace came in second at 76%, where it could facilitate access to work outside normal working hours. A lack of work-life balance (75%) came in shortly after the two.

Technology was an issue as it could have “potential adverse effects on workers as the expectation of responding ‘out of hours’ rises”, which could weigh heavily upon the employee, Rebekah Haymes, senior consultant at Towers Watson said. This aspect should be considered when a company wishes to roll out a health and wellbeing programme, she added.

“Stress can have a major negative impact on the productivity of employees. That employers are now starting to focus on prevention and encouraging healthier lifestyles is a step in the right direction.” Haymes said.

Currently in the UK, over 40% of employers already have stress management programs in place and an additional 31% plan to introduce them in the next two years.

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