Administrative & support services 5th most stressful occupation in the UK

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According to Statista, the most common type of stress experienced by Brits is work-related  – with 79% of respondents saying they frequently feel this type of stress.

But when it comes to the specific UK work industries, which ones display the highest levels of stress among employees? A new study by Private Rehab Clinic Delamere reveals just this.

Taking a seed list of the most popular industries in the UK, the team have uncovered which ones have the highest percentage of workplace stress, using statistics sources from Lifeworks.

The accommodation and food services industry was revealed to be the most stressful industry in the UK, with a staggering 57% of employees reporting workplace stress.

The industry scored a dreadful 0.0/10 for workplace stress, as well as 2.9/10 for health and wellbeing, and 0.7/10 for the measly average yearly salary of £20,015.

With a worrying score when it came to employees poor mental health, these results are to be expected in hospitality type workplaces.

In fact, it was recorded that hotel workers felt a very high level of stress each day, which could be down to the physical expectations throughout the day, such as heavy lifting, short and irregular breaks, as well as dealing with the public.

The same can be said for the health and social care sector, as this kind of work usually involves being on your feet all day, as well as helping people out of chairs and beds. Overall, this industry scored 56.30% when it came to stress levels, which is alarmingly high.

Administrative & support services ranked 5th in the findings, while at the other end of the scale, the industry that had the lowest record of stress was the information and communication sector, with a score of 47.50% overall. This is a fairly surprising result, as articles have highlighted that the constant need to learn and improve skills causes mounting pressure for IT employees.

Here is how the other industries ranked below:

Table 1: The top 15 UK industries with the highest work-place stress rates

Ranking Industry % of people feeling stressed
1 Accommodation & Food Services 57.10%
2 Health and Social Care 56.30%
3 Manufacturing 55.80%
4 Arts, entertainment and recreation 55.60%
5 Administrative & Support Services 55.10%
6 Wholesale, retail and auto repair 54.40%
7 Public admin & defence 53.90%
8 Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities 53.60%
9 Transport and Storage 52.40%
10 Mining, energy and water supply 51.50%
11 Agriculture fishing & forestry 51.50%
12 Construction 49.50%
13 Financial, Insurance & Real Estate 48.80%
14 Education 48.00%
15 Information & Communication 47.50%

Sources: lifeworks.com/en, delamere.com

Martin Preston, Chief Executive and Founder at Delamere, said: “Stress in the workplace is disastrous for many reasons, one of them being that burn out can actually lead to being less productive and making mistakes. In industries that deal with machinery or are based in dangerous environments, this could have catastrophic consequences.

“Untreated stress and work burnout, which is made worse by the toxicity of grind or hustle culture, can lead to severe cases of anxiety and other mental health conditions – which could then, in turn, lead to an employee needing to go off work sick.

“The mental health of employees should always come first for a business, which is why it can be unprofessional and detrimental to contact employees outside of working hours or suggest that people work overtime for no extra income.

“This kind of mentality contributes directly to hustle culture, and could lead to employees feeling that they have failed if they ever take a break. Keep all communication within paid hours, and try as much as possible to build relationships with your employees outside of work – this will allow employers to get to know their workforce as human beings with emotional needs, and will in turn make their employees feel more comfortable when voicing concerns.”

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    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien