New study reveals 1 in 5 UK workplaces are bad for workers’ health

June 8th 2015 / Ayesha Muttucumaru Google+ Ayesha Muttucumaru

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When it comes to wellbeing in the workplace, new findings show that all is not as well as it should be

If you’re finding it hard to switch off at the end of a hard day, run-down or even ill, a new survey reveals you’re not alone. A study of 2,000 full and part time UK workers has shown that the pressures of our jobs are leading to a workforce that is far from the most productive and healthiest that it can be.

Published in The Health in the Workplace Report by One4all Rewards, the stats revealed that 23% of workers felt they underperform due to work-related illness and stress, 11% had become ill as a direct result of their work in the past year and 17% admitted that they often had problems sleeping as a result of their jobs . 22% said that they suffer high levels of stress due to work pressures on a regular basis.

Only a mere 6% of workers felt that work actually had a positive impact on their health and wellbeing - a concerning statistic considering the amount of energy and time we invest in our jobs.

Workers in London are the worst affected according to the research, with 33% admitting that their work is suffering as much as they are (compared to the national average of 23%).

The worst affected sectors are IT, PR and Marketing, with 37% of workers reporting reduced productivity as a result of poor health or stress.

MORE GLOSS: How to beat work related stress

Declan Byrne, managing director of One4all Rewards, comments, “These are worrying findings for everyone. Not only are many workers feeling increasingly stretched and unhappy, but their employers are also losing out as stressed-out workers significantly underperform.

“Recent studies have shown how 80% of white collar workers in the UK currently work over 40 hours per week and also that developments in technology mean that it is getting harder and harder to switch off when not in the office.

“This report indicates the importance employers should be placing on ‘Workplace Wellness’ – not only out of a sense of corporate responsibility, but also as a way to boost productivity and give them a competitive edge when recruiting and retaining the best staff.”

He adds, “In order to create more positive working environments, businesses need to consider how they can incentivise better behaviours. Putting out the right messages about working habits and rewarding people with health-enhancing benefits such as fitness activities, duvet days and creating the right facilities in the office can make commercial sense as well as being good corporate behaviour.”

Follow us @getthegloss and Ayesha @Ayesha_Muttu.

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