- Stress Awareness Month prompts firms to review their existing polices, as the cost of living increase threatens to compound work-related stress
- Energy price hikes and cost of living increase could exacerbate work-related stress if businesses are not proactive
- Workplace stress, anxiety and depression are likely to be compounded as the cost of living increase exacerbates financial uncertainty
As Stress Awareness Month approaches, the latest statistics once again demonstrate how important it is for employers to familiarise themselves with the signs and symptoms of stress, especially as an increase in the cost of living threatens to compound the issues faced by many.
With 79% of employed British adults commonly experiencing workplace stress (20% higher than last year), it is an issue that impacts workers across all sectors and occupations, as the latest data shows.
According to a recent study, 75% of those working in Architecture, Building and Engineering confirmed they had experienced feelings of work-related stress at some point in their career. Meanwhile, Government (92%), Telecoms (88%) and Media & Marketing (85%) made up the top three most stressed sectors.
Despite many people hoping that a return to normality in the post-pandemic era would bring about a period of financial stability, the reality of hiked energy prices will undoubtedly exacerbate feelings of stress, which could impact work performance and productivity.
Tina Chander, Head of the Employment Law Team at Wright Hassall, commented: “Much has been said about work-related stress in the last two years, as pandemic-related redundancies and furloughs created an overwhelming sense of uncertainty amongst workers.
“Unfortunately, just as it looked like the worst of Covid was behind us, a steep increase to the cost of living has left many feeling anxious about their current financial situation, and in many cases, this has a direct impact on how they feel at and about work.
“Considering that 79% of adults already experience workplace stress on a regular basis, this latest news should prompt employers to familiarise themselves with the signs and symptoms of workplace stress, so they can spot potential cases and offer the necessary support.
“Given the fact that April is Stress Awareness Month, there couldn’t be a more perfect time for businesses to review their existing stress management procedures, taking steps to combat the issue, whether that be with flexible working hours, access to counselling services or an ‘open door policy’.
“It is in the best interests of employers to do so, as failing to support stressed employees can lead to higher staff turnover, decreased productivity and poor morale, amongst other issues.”