November 25, 2013
Over half (51 percent) of managers say they feel ‘constantly worried’ and a disturbingly high number (40 percent) have experienced depression as a result of being stressed. The research, which was carried out by YouGov to support Bupa’s Healthy Minds programme polled the views of 6,000 employees across a range of industries, job levels and regions. It found that real estate is the UK’s most stressed sector, with more than half of workers (54 percent) feeling the pressure and a further one in five struggling to cope (20 percent) and worried about the effect of stress on their health (22 percent). With one in six adults experiencing a mental health problem at any given time, the impact on businesses is significant in terms of staff absence, productivity and performance.
Bupa’s research clearly indicates that the stigma attached to mental health problems still exists in UK workplaces, as stressed managers are suffering in silence. While two in five (43%) middle managers think the pressure they are under at work is too great, saying that they often worry about work at home (47%), two out of three (67%) say they are likely to keep quiet about their stress. Only one in ten (12%) middle managers speak to their boss about their stress levels, with 15 per cent concerned that it would make them appear ‘weak’.
As a result of being too stressed, managers are struggling to support junior colleagues with their own stress-related problems. Three in ten (29%) of those surveyed admit they do not have enough time to deal with team members’ stress, and one in four (25%) say that they feel too stressed to address these issues within their team.
Patrick Watt, director of corporate at Bupa, comments: “Mental illness has been recognised in most other parts of society but remains heavily stigmatised in business. Few people are prepared to discuss their worries openly.
“This research shows that there is still not enough support within businesses at any level of the organisation. Work is not going to get less stressful. So we need to get better at recognising the early signs of stress and mental health issues in ourselves and our colleagues and promoting a culture which encourages people to speak up and ask for help.”
Bupa’s research reveals that the top five stressors at work are:
1. Workload (22%)
2. Trying to meet targets (11%)
3. Office politics (10%)
4. Restructuring/lack of job security (9%)
5. Client/customers (7%)
Click here for a free guide to help people identify, understand and deal with their stress.