Bad management top cause of stress for UK workers

SME employees are at greater risk of burnout

This ‘National Work Life Week’, concerning new research from the UK’s leading independent job site CV-Library has found that more than half of workers (53.2%) report that stress is an issue in their current workplace, with bad management cited as the top cause for increasing pressure.

The study, which surveyed 1200 UK workers, found that the majority of employees (57.4%) believe that their manager does not offer support to help them manage stress at work. According to the research, bad management is the biggest cause of stress at work (65.8%), followed by:

  • Low morale within the workplace (38.1%)
  • Unfriendly colleagues (35.7%)
  • Heavy workloads (34.1%)
  • Long working hours (29.3%)
  • Poor work/life balance (25.5%).

Lee Biggins, Founder and Managing Director of CV-Library comments: “Our findings reveal the true extent of workplace stress across UK organisations and the impact that poor management has on workers’ wellbeing. As a nation, we are battling with heavier workloads and longer working hours and this is resulting in a poor work-life balance for many. While it can be difficult to take a step back from work, especially with an increasing amount of technology at our fingertips, creating a balance between our professional and personal lives is important.

“For employers, high stress levels not only impact overall productivity, but can also place organisations in a compromising position, as workers under a great amount of strain are more likely to turn on their heels and look for a better working environment elsewhere. This makes it more important than ever for management teams to take on the responsibility for keeping their staff happy and productive in the workplace and help to alleviate some of the pressures that their employees are facing.”

Worse still, a staggering 89% of workers think that being susceptible to stress at work can have an impact on career progression, with more than two thirds (67%) believing that this is because stress can negatively affect performance in the workplace. A further 66.8% think that it is because employees should be able to handle some stress within their working lives, while 46.9% said that stress can make employees burn out, causing them to take time away from work.

Biggins continues: “The mentality that everyone should be able to handle stress promotes all the wrong messages to workers, especially those that are looking to climb the career ladder. Employees should be able to progress in their career without being put under too much pressure, and ultimately, staff who are less stressed will perform better at work. This National Work Life Week, I would encourage organisations across the UK to remain supportive of workers and pay closer attention to signs of stress in the workplace. This will help companies to not only retain staff, but also attract new talent going forward, which will be vital for many businesses as we approach the run-up to Christmas.”