Insurance · 21 April 2017

Workplace stress making Monday morning too much to bear for UK employees

Workplace stress
A shouting boss was cited as the worst aspect of bad management by employees

Workers in the North of England are more likely to dread the week ahead than those in other parts of the UK, as a new study reveals the regional differences in how employees respond to workplace stress.

The nationwide survey, from online platform Crunch Accounting, took in responses from workers in every region to paint a “workplace stress map” of the country.

While the results revealed regional differences in the responses to workplace stress from employees, it’s evident that anxiety at work is a significant problem for the wider population – something small business owners should seek to address to retain a productive and happy workforce.

Almost a third of employees based in the South of England admitted to feeling constantly on edge at work, ahead of the quarter who said the same in the North. Those in the Midlands were least likely to feel anxiety in this way. 

The survey also questioned employees on the reasons they were considering handing their notice in. For a quarter of workers across the South of England, workplace burnout and ill health would be the reason for heading to the exit.

When it came to overall stress, workers in the North seemed to suffer the most. They were more likely than those in any other reason to agonise over “Sunday night dread”, with half of all workers finding the prospect of another week difficult. Severe negativity ahead of Monday morning was found to affect a third of Southern workers.

The toll of workplace stress was found to have had a significant impact on the self-esteem of workers throughout the country. In the South, over a quarter of all employees cited low confidence in their ability to get another job as the reason they stay in one they don’t enjoy, while just under one in four from the Midlands and the North agreed.

Smaller employers should note than an aggressive management style could eventually push workers to the point of resignation. A shouting boss was reported as the worst aspect of bad management by 17 per cent of Southern employees and 16 per cent of those in the North.

Commenting on the findings, Helen Monk, people manager at Crunch Accounting, suggested employers from all parts of the UK should take note of the impact workplace stress could be having on their staff.

“Although a few regional trends have emerged from our survey, it’s concerning to see such a universally consistent picture of stress and anxiety caused by workplace issues,” she said in a statement.

Monk added that a move into self-employment could be a viable get-out clause for many workers.

“Perhaps not surprisingly, this issue seems to be affecting confidence levels and damaging self-esteem. It’s fair to say many of these people would be better off leaving for pastures new, whether that’s a different role, starting up on their own as a sole trader, or founding a limited company.”

Find out how to spot the signs of workplace stress and reduce the emotional impact of work on your employees

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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