Bullying in the UK is endemic and for one in four people it is a weekly or even daily cause of stress. Over 80% of workers have been bullied during their careers and a third of people are so stressed they have dreamed of quitting for a life abroad. Over half say their jobs are getting more stressful and that work is overtaking their home lives.
These are the key findings of Samaritans’ survey for Stress Down Day, taking place on Friday February 1st; a national campaign to encourage people to take better care of their health at work and reduce currently damaging stress levels, www.stressdownday.org.
Samaritans Joe Ferns said: “Job related stress has a serious and unrecognised impact on the health of the nation and the economy, affecting concentration and efficiency. Thirteen million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2005 at a staggering cost of 3.7 billion to UK plc.
“Positive workplaces are a big factor in keeping everyone emotionally healthy. There is not enough openness and that is what Stress Down Day is all about; encouraging employers and employees to speak out and discuss problems before they escalate.”
Young employees (18-24 years) are most vulnerable to stress, with 38% feeling less likely than all other age groups to talk openly to their managers and 57% unable to talk to colleagues. Forty-eight percent are more likely to be bullied by clients and customers whereas over half of other age groups reported being bullied by their managers.
Occupation has a major influence on stress, with over 40% of IT workers, retailers, caterers and engineers feeling unsupported at work and over half unable to deal with stress, compared with people in health, education, banking and finance over half of whom claim they receive adequate support at work.