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Four in ten UK workers "close to breaking point"

15 October 2019

A poll of professionals has found that too much pressure at work is leading to high levels of stress for many employees.

A study by CABA, the charity supporting the wellbeing of chartered accountants and their families, has found that four in ten UK adults are close to breaking point at work.

The survey of 2,000 professionals working across multiple sectors in the UK found that the average working adult feels stressed for almost a third of their working day. The study also found that in an average week, employees spend 31 minutes complaining about their boss and two hours 45 minutes moaning about their job.

Employees lose five hours of sleep each week because of the pressures they face at work, while three in five respondents said they feel stressed about work even when they are on holiday.

The top ten reasons that Brits complain about their job were found to be:

  • A heavy workload;
  • Lack of recognition/reward;
  • Pay;
  • Colleagues;
  • The job itself;
  • Company culture;
  • Long hours;
  • Amount of work compared to colleagues;
  • Clients;
  • Progression/career path.

"Everyone will experience pressure day to day," said Richard Jenkins, psychologist and spokesperson for CABA. "A level of pressure can actually make us work better, however too much pressure that rises to an unmanageable level leads to stress. The working public needs to know how to manage their pressure to avoid reaching boiling point. Finding ways to manage your stress is essential. It is also worth addressing the root causes of your stress to try to manage the source rather than just treat the symptoms."

Seven in ten adults have vented about their workplace to a colleague, partner, family member or friend. However, 46% of those who have felt stressed at work didn't end up doing anything about it, hoping the problem would go away on its own.

"If employees are suffering with a build-up of stress, the first, and often most difficult, step can be to simply talk about it with someone, be it a colleague, manager or just a family member. Sometimes just acknowledging that you have too much on can start to address the stress," said Jenkins.

The findings have been published ahead of CABA's upcoming Drop the pressure campaign, which aims to tackle high levels of stress among trainee accountants.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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