The percentage of UK workers experiencing work-related stress has almost doubled in the last two decades, according to an analysis of working trends by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
In 1999, results from a preliminary study conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that one in five (20%) workers said they are "very" or "extremely" stressed at work. Two decades later, a report by Business in the Community (BITC) and Marsh Benefits revealed that this figure has almost doubled, with 39% of UK workers suffering symptoms of poor mental health because of their job in the past year.
A separate study conducted by ICM in 1999 showed that 26% of employees said they had fallen ill as a result of workplace stress. Today, according to the HSE, over 11 million days are lost at work a year because of employment-related stress.
Commenting on the analysis, Ann Swain, Global CEO at APSCo, said:
“Today, as we try to create more awareness for mental health and the wellbeing of individuals, businesses must acknowledge how they impact their employees and can effect their health. Although we now have assistance from technology and AI to make our jobs easier and more meaningful, it has also created an “always connected” environment which may make it difficult for some workers to switch off, causing high levels of stress. Employers should openly discuss this with their workforce and encourage healthy working habits, allowing for flexibility where possible.”