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WHY ARE WORKERS MORE STRESSED THESE DAYS?

Monday 29th June 2015
Tags: In the News
Work related stress costs Britain 10.4 million working days per year. More and more employees have admitted to finding difficulty switching off from work out of work hours

With a third of workers admitting to checking their work emails whilst on holiday and one in five workers not eating dinner until after 9pm due to working later.

According to a survey by Career Builder UK For as much as workers may look forward to their holiday, some may have a hard time relaxing anticipating what they will come back to at work. Over a third (39%) of workers say they have come back from a trip away with so much work accumulated that they wish they had never taken time off at all.

“Taking time off is important for employees to rest and recuperate from the stress of their daily work lives, so it’s important for employers to encourage their employees to take advantage of their allotted time off,” says Scott Helmes, managing director at CareerBuilder UK. “Some workers have a harder time than others checking out completely, however, and that can cause more stress than not taking a break at all.”

In light of a survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development  it was revealed that as a nation we are actually more stressed then we were years ago. The report found that the average employee now takes 7.6 days off, up on the 2012 figure of 6.8 days per year, while the North West experiences most absences in England with 8.8 days taken in the region.

SO WHAT IS INCREASING TO THIS ADDED STRESS?

Thanks to the prevalence of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, workers have the ability to check in to work at any time, from anywhere. For many, that even includes on holiday. Now we are able to access our work from outside the workplace could this be a factor in the increasing number of stressed out employees?

It’s important for employees to maintain a sense of work life balance, in the days when it was more difficult to access work from home it may have been easier for workers to switch off in their home environment, but with more employees being able to access work from home it could be making it harder for workers to distinguish between the two. Where does work life end and home begin?

Many employees will have access to their work email on their smart phone, creating the temptation to check their email regularly even when they are outside of work. A researcher Gloria Mark of University of California strapped heart rate monitors to a team of U.S employees and found email to be a key stress driver. After taking away their email for five days, she found stress levels, measured by heart-rate monitors, decreased. Without email, the employees reported they felt more in control of their working lives. The social norms attached to email that demand a quick response time is mainly what Gloria cited as the main reason behind the rising stress levels.

WHAT’S BEING DONE TO HELP?

A lot of managers are now recognising the detrimental effect work place stress can put on a business and its performance.

Stress management services are now being offered at various companies where managers are trained to understand the signs of stress among their workforce and no the necessary steps to take to offer optimum support to the employee and minimal effect on their role and the business operations.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this, do you feel the increased number of people using smart phone is contributing to work place stress? What do you feel is increasing stress levels in the workplace?

Tweet us @amsourcetech.
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