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Staff taking sick leave due to smartphone-related stress

Staff are taking more time off sick due to smartphone-related stress, according to a North London councillor. 

Checking emails, taking phone calls and not being able to ‘switch off from the office’ is causing what has been dubbed a ‘digital megatrend.’

The comments were made by Rachel Stopard, deputy chief executive of Camden Council, as part of a report that found that as many one in every five sick days taken by town hall staff are related to stress or depression.

Published last week, the report found that almost 20 per cent of all sicknesses across the council were related to mental health issues – a figure higher than the national average of just 8 per cent.

It warned that the council needs to be responsive to ‘a digitisation megatrend’ which is boosting working hours upsetting the work life balance.

According to the report, Camden is above average in terms of time off sick by staff across the London councils. It reported that this increase has been reflected in more referrals to the council’s occupational health services.

Last year, PHE launched its standards charter for England, which encourages employers across the country to drive improvements in workplace health. 


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