Nearly 50% Of UK Employees Are Stressed. But Why?

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We polled 1,000 employees in our 2023 Employee Benefits & Workplace Satisfaction survey with YouGov and found that nearly half of UK employees felt stressed.

This is a worrying statistic. But it comes as no surprise considering the current economic climate. The cost of living crisis is causing financial stress and mental health issues among employees.

Large Proportion Of UK Employees Are Stressed

Although stress levels have reduced since our 2021 survey (from 58%), nearly half (45%) of respondents told us that they were feeling stressed. This is still a significant amount.

Work Cited As The Biggest Cause Of Stress

When asked why they felt stressed, 53% of respondents cited work to be the main cause. This has reduced by 14.5% from our last survey, which is positive news. The other main causes for stress cited were:

  • Money (43%, down by 17.3% )
  • Family responsibilities (32%, down by 3%)
  • Mental health (26%, down by 33.3%)
  • Physical health (22%, up 57%).

Family Responsibilities Causing More Stress Than In Previous Years

It’s good to see that from our previous survey levels of stress appear to be reducing. However what is causing employees has changed slightly. Mental health is causing less stress than previous years, whereas family responsibilities has seen an increase.

Cost Of Living Having An Impact On Work Performance

With money being cited as one of the main causes of stress, we asked whether or not employees thought their work performance had been affected by the cost of living crisis and 1 in 5 said yes.

Mental Health Negatively Impacted Too

Not only this 47% said that their mental health had also been impacted too. Stress can have a knock on affect when it comes to work performance, so it’s important that as an employer you look at ways of tackling it head on.

How Can Employers Help Reduce Stress Levels?

This can be done by offering benefits that employees can use to help manage different causes of stress.

When asked what benefits employees found the most attractive, insurance policies that protected themselves and their loved ones (19%) topped the list. This was followed by:

Choose Benefits That Reduce Stress Levels

If left alone stress can lead to poor mental and physical health. This can in turn lead to poor performance at work or even long term sickness.

By understanding what causes employees stress as well as the benefits that they would like to receive, you can start to build out an effective benefits strategy that can help to tackle its causes. As a part of this strategy you could include benefits such as:

  • Flexible Working & Work-From-Home Options – Benefits such as this can help UK employees to better balance their work and personal responsibilities, which can lead to reduced stress levels at work.
  • Discount Schemes – This benefit gives your employees access to savings on everyday costs such as groceries and travel, which can save them hundreds of pounds a year. This can help them to make their money go further and alleviate some financial pressures.
  • Salary Sacrifice Workplace Pensions – By offering a workplace pension with contributions via salary sacrifice, not only could you save your business money but you could also boost the amount of pay your employees take home each month. This is because of the great tax and NI savings this benefit offers.
  • Workplace Financial Education – Giving employees access to financial education can help them become more confident in areas such as debt management, savings and investments. This knowledge can be really powerful when it comes to making informed decisions about their own finances.

Other benefits that can help eliminate stress include group risk products such as Death In Service, Group Health Insurance, Company Income Protection and Group Critical Illness Cover. These benefits can help provide financial security to employees and their loved ones.

Group risk policies often come with free extra benefits, such as virtual GP services, counselling, meditation sessions, and employee assistance programmes (EAP).

These services can help your employees and their loved ones with managing their stress levels.

Nick Nelms
Senior Consultant, Employee Benefits

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