For many people in today's modern and fast moving society, the workplace can be a key factor for triggering or exacerbating stress and feelings of anxiety.
Stress and anxiety can manifest in many ways - from physical to psychological behaviour, causing people to experience a range of symptoms including excess sweating, increased heart rate, chest pain, headaches, nausea, heartburn etc that can be extremely difficult to live with. Low self-esteem and lack of confidence, inability to concentrate, feelings of fear, and the inability to make decisions as well as a lack of sleep can really impact day to day life both at home and at work.
According to the Health & Safety Executive, stress, depression and anxiety disorders accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health, 10.4 million days in 2011-2012. Workplace stress is a serious employment problem that eats away at company profits, can reduce staff efficiency and lead to good quality staff resigning. Stress is the single biggest cause of illness in the UK.
Ahead of our online clinic on stress & anxiety at work, which opens on 15-21 October, we ran a survey to investigate how many of our members and visitors have experienced stress and/or anxiety in the workplace. The survey revealed:
66% of people experience stress & anxiety at work frequently, and
21% experience stress and anxiety continuously.
We asked how large an impact having stress and anxiety at work has on various aspects of people’s lives:
41% feel the biggest impact is on their health
41% feel that being stressed takes the enjoyment out of activities they used to enjoy.
Tiredness, lack of confidence, lack of sex, impaired concentration, bringing stress home and the impact on family and friendships were all cited as the result of being stressed at work.
“All areas of my life are impacted by stress from work. There is an ideology that everyone should be prepared to work many extra hours to hit targets, with no extra pay or recognition.”
“I can't switch off or feel relaxed when I get home because I feel so stressed. When I go on annual leave, I am terrified that something bad is about to happen at work.”
“It affected my sleeping, ability to have any self-esteem, self-worth. I lost all confidence in myself. I started not going out & even communicating with anyone was extremely difficult.”
“You can't sleep for stressing out about what’s happened at work and dread what’s going to happen next day.”
We asked about the best ways to improve stress and anxiety at work. Answers ranged from having time off work and prioritising workload, to trying to find time to relax or actually leaving a job.
46% had spoken to their HR department about stress and work issues
51% had to take time off work
38% had left their job due to stress.
If you are experiecing, or have experienced stress and anxiety at work, you may like to talk with our medical experts in our Online Clinic on Stress & Anxiety at Work. You can post your questions now - our panel of experts will be in the clinic answering questions from 15-21 October 2014.
Source: talkhealth survey, September 2014 - 452 participants
If you're interested in a detailed analysis of the results for these surveys please contact us.