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1 in 4 workers off work due to stress ‘time-bomb’

Stressed businessman

Stress can affect most people on a daily basis to some degree, however a new report has revealed that one in four employees have actually taken time off work in the last year due to stress-related problems, a figure which has been described as an employee stress ‘time-bomb’.

The report, “Breaking the Cycle”, which has been published by health and wellbeing provider BHSF, warns that stress-related issues are having a major impact on workplace productivity and that more than half of employees feel unable to approach their employer about their problems.

The biggest causes of time off work are finance (31%), stress from the job (26%) and family life (19%).

Brian Hall, Managing Director of BHSF Employee Benefits, says: “This report paints a devastating portrait of how professional and personal stress-triggers are directly leading to mental health issues and absenteeism on an unprecedented scale, which is, unfortunately, being chronically under-estimated by employers and is a potential time-bomb under workplace productivity.”

The report highlights how productivity is being impacted when employees go into work, despite suffering from illness or mental health issues – this is otherwise referred to as ‘presenteeism’.

In fact, nearly two thirds (63 percent) of the UK’s working population say that stress keeps them awake at night, leaving them physically and mentally unable to perform their duties.

What’s more, 58 percent have admitted going into work despite suffering from health or stress issues and over half of the working population admit that they feel pressure from their employer to quickly return to work in the event of illness.

Brian adds: “Our objective with this research is not to blame employers, but to help them gain a much better understanding of the issues involved and, hopefully, encourage a more proactive approach to employee wellbeing.

“Over the long-term this approach can help build a much more resilient workforce, able to withstand the pressures of modern life and, ultimately, improve productivity.”

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