A fifth feel hugely undervalued at work
Research has revealed that nine out of ten workers don’t feel adequately trained to handle their workload, with a fifth admitting to using alcohol as a crutch after a stressful day, and an additional 3% turning to recreational drugs as a way of coping.
The study, of more than 2000 UK employees, was carried out by experts at Step1Recovery, a luxury rehabilitation retreat in Spain, specialising in the treatment of executive burnout, depression and addiction.
The study found that more than one in five (21%) Brits have taken time off work due to stress, with a further 57% admitting to having experienced feelings of stress in the workplace. When it comes to higher-earners, 97% of Brits earning more than £100,000 a year don’t think their colleagues realise the amount of stress they have to cope with on a daily basis.
The research also revealed that a fifth of employees feel under-valued at work, with more than nine out of ten (93%) Brits who earn less than £20,000 a year stating they feel they are paid too little for the amount of stress they are under. Looking at that in more detail, two-thirds (65%) of employees in this salary bracket claimed they struggle to cope with stress at work, a higher percentage than those earning any other wage.
When to comes to stress levels by occupation, the top five professions where people are most likely to take time off due to stress are:
- Human Resource Managers (35%)
- Shop Floor Factory Workers (30%)
- Doctors (29%)
- IT Managers (25%)
- Teachers (21%)
Shockingly, not one doctor involved in the study said that their salary reflects the level of stress they are forced to deal with each day.
Claire Cheek, director at Step One Recovery, said: “Stress is something people are forced to deal with in all aspects of their lives, however workplace stress is something that we’re seeing more people struggling to cope with.
“Stress effects people in different ways, and for some can cause both physical and mental exhaustion, known as ‘burnout.’ Professionals with perfectionist and controlling tendencies are far more likely to be affected by burnout, as they thrive on stress and adrenaline. This in turn can lead to self-medication, using alcohol and drugs to ‘unwind’ at the end of the day or even during the work day, such as drinking at lunchtime. Employers often put apparent addiction issues down to stress and anxiety, if they recognise them at all. It is estimated that 20% of alcoholics are highly functioning, but if they continue, one day it all catches up with them.
“At Step One we treat many high-earning executives who are struggling to cope with the level of stress involved in their job and are subsequently suffering from executive burnout, however, it’s really surprising to see how many other people in the UK’s workforce are also being affected.”