Health and social care is the most stressful industry to work in, according to an analysis by The Office Group (TOG), who found that health and social workers tend to work longer hours and report more cases of work-related stress, depression and anxiety.
TOG calculated an overall stress score for 12 industries across the UK, using public data on the number of self-reported stress cases; average full-time hours; number of days lost to self-reported stress; and the likelihood of future automation.
While health and social care topped TOG’s stress scale, the education industry has the highest rates of stress reported by employees, with 82,000 reports of stress, depression or anxiety that have been exacerbated by work, affecting 2,370 employees per 100,000 (2.37%) compared to the average rate of 1,390 employees per 100,000 (1.39%).
Industries with the highest stress score
Around 2,320 of health and social workers per 100,000 employees (2.32%) report cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety, with 0.92 days lost per worker, which is higher than the average of 0.46 days per year.
Across all industries, there are an estimated 11,947 days taken as sick leave due to stress, depression or anxiety that has been caused or made worse by the employees’ job.
Alessa McNally, Head of Member Experience at The Office Group, said: ‘All employers can put stress management practices in place to keep their employees as healthy as possible. We believe flexibility is fundamental to workplace well-being. That’s why our office members can work from all 35 of our locations. We provide a variety of spaces to work and recharge from, including meditation rooms, libraries, fitness gyms and roof terraces. We also provide a range of wellness services, such as nutrition workshops, yoga and meditation mornings.’
Health and social workers in full-time employment are paid for an average of 43 hours per week, which is 18.5% more than information and communication employees, who are the least likely to report work-related stress according to TOG’s research. Incidentally, information and communication workers are paid more money than any employees in any other industries, earning an average of £860 before tax, whereas health and social workers receive an average of £533 per week.
TOG also found that women report significantly higher cases of workplace stress than men (300,000 compared to 236,000), which raises the question of gender differences when it comes to verbalising or even admitting mental health issues.
As part of their research, TOG spoke to Mobfit, a London-based workplace well-being consultancy, who advocates using mindfulness techniques to combat stress in the workplace. Mark Briant, Director of Mobfit, said: ‘We’ve seen first-hand how mindfulness can help calm the mind. It allows you to be more present and better able to communicate thoughtfully, making it a useful tool when presenting, participating in meetings and even having everyday conversations with colleagues.’
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