WORKPLACE stress could cost the UK economy billions of pounds. Employers are being encouraged to put strategies in place to help employees deal with the stress of having to work longer.
The latest generation of workers is faced with one sure thing – if they are lucky enough to get a job they will be expected to work until later in the day and until later in life. They may need to be contactable at all times, and capable of dealing with an immense onslaught of on-line information.
These startling findings are the result of research by employee benefits company Unum, which questioned more than 1,000 employees currently working in the IT, accounting, media, law and retail sectors, for its Future Workplace report.
Unum also sought the views of a range of experts from its Futures 100 Network, including academics, scientists, anthropologists and sociologists.
According to the report, one of the biggest trends is the difficulty faced by employers managing their employees effectively, while they in turn are dealing with the ever increasing demands of work.
A staggering 73% of employees questioned for the report claimed that stress levels from always having to be available had lead them to consider moving jobs. Almost one-third of those surveyed were concerned that internal and external factors will combine to affect the length of time they can work. This could cost the economy £44 billion in working days lost through stress related ailments.
However, the report outlines some solutions to reduce the level of workplace stress, including synchronising the lunch breaks of employees from the same social groups, and brainstorming sessions to come up with ideas on how to reduce workplace pressures.
Peter O’Donnell, chief executive of Unum, said: “The workplace is changing and it is not enough to just think about today. The approach to workplace well-being will need to be significantly different in the future – so employees need to start taking action now. There is potentially a significant material cost in driving employees away if their well-being needs are not met.”
The full Unum report is available at: http://resources.unum.co.uk/downloads/future-workplace.pdf?8821f14b-605f-2046-bf65-91441c21f802