Time-poor UK workers are not doing anything to relieve stress outside of work – ironically often due to not having the time – according to new research
A survey of 1,015 UK adults in employment carried out by learning marketplace, Obby.co.uk, revealed that 48% of British workers do little or nothing at all to relieve work stress.
For an overwhelming majority of 65% who claimed this was the case, it is a lack of free time that is the biggest obstacle. Workers in the professional services (e.g. accounting, law) industry struggled the most to do anything to relieve stress, with 58% saying they don’t do anything – closely followed by those in education (55%) and healthcare (53%).
With the average Brit working a 40.2-hour week – and not including time spent thinking about work – not having the time to decompress from the daily grind could be damaging the nation’s workforce. For 1 in 5, money is the reason post-work stress relieving activities are not pursued.
Just 19% of UK workers say their employer provides healthy ways to de-stress as part of their ‘perks’ package. Meanwhile, a whopping 79% would welcome stress-busting activities in the office with a clear 50:50 divide on whether Brits ‘expect’ employers to provide this level of employee care.
Of those who do regularly take measures to reduce work-based stress, it’s exercise and sport that tops the poll of most popular stress-busting activities. 44% find relief from a physical outlet, while enjoying personal interests and hobbies came a close second (39%).
Meanwhile, 35% say they turn to spending time with friends and family to relax them.
Tom Batting, co-founder at Obby.co.uk said: “It’s worrying how many workers claim they do not prioritise getting the stress relief that is so important for maintaining mental health. The irony is that this can actually become a vicious cycle – if we don’t make time for stress relief, this can lead to becoming more stressed or even burnout, both of which can reduce productivity further.
“As such, it’s in bosses’ interests to ensure that employees actually do take measures to manage their stress levels – whether that’s communicating how important this, allowing them flexi-time so that they can attend whatever activity it is that they do to relieve stress, or even providing company-sponsored classes or workshops. As well as reducing stress, this can positively impact on a employees’ focus, concentration and efficiency in the workplace. We see this time and again – employers who provide workers with healthy and stress-busting ‘perks’ like yoga, meditation or even arts and craft workshops reap the rewards in a more productive – and satisfied – workforce.”