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More than a third of UK workers have considered quitting their job due to stress

Thanks to numerous high profile public health campaigns, there is now far less stigma attached to the subject of mental health. Yet while we are increasingly encouraged to talk openly about our personal struggles with stress, depression, and anxiety, more of us are affected by mental health issues than ever before. And it is stress in the workplace that constitutes a significant part of Britain’s wider mental health crisis.

According to new research commissioned for Stress Awareness Week by not-for-profit organisation Investors in People, around 8-in-10 (79%) people say they have experienced stress at work. More than a third (35%) say they have even considered leaving their current job because of work-related stress.

Heavy workloads, tight deadlines, ill-equipped managers and poor working environments all contribute to the pressures felt by people in the workplace.

And in today’s 24/7, “always-on” culture, it seems leaving our problems behind at the end of the working day is increasingly hard to do with more than half (54%) of employees saying they have experienced work-related stress while at home.

If left untreated, these pressures can cause working people to suffer serious mental health problems. At the very least, the result is a less efficient workforce with more than three quarters (78%) admitting they are less productive when feeling stressed.

More than a quarter (27%) of those surveyed felt their employer did not support their mental wellbeing, and just 30% agreed their workplace had a culture of openness around mental health.

A fifth (20%) felt so strongly about the issue they said they would rather have workplace support for their mental health than a 3% pay rise.

In 2017/18, 15.4 million days were lost to mental health-related issues, according figures from the Health and Safety Executive, while a recent report by Stevenson and Farmer suggested that poor mental health could be costing the economy £99bn a year.

Paul Devoy, Chief Executive Officer, Investors in People commented ’We want HR Managers to feel empowered in their ability to design mental health policies as standard in their workplace. This should not just be an afterthought or a ‘nice to have’ but central to a company’s brand values. Business leaders who fail to see the importance will suffer with high staff turnarounds and difficulty in recruiting the right talent as the demand for support continues to increase’.

Investors in People also believe more employers need to properly train their line managers in how to support team member’s mental health with a focus on listening to their concerns, adopting a flexible attitude and ensuring that solutions are tailored to the person’s particular needs.

Equally they say it’s important for employees who have a mental health concern to speak up as soon as they feel comfortable to do so as employers can only help if they are made fully aware of the situation. Building open and honest relationships at work and being pro-active is also key to ensuring that employees’ get the support they need.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Broadcast Exchange .

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