British Workers – Most Stressed In The World

On January 30, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Kesh Thukaram

As per the latest report released Kenexa, British workers are one of the most stressed in the world. The other countries that follow are Brazil, Germany and USA. It is also interesting to note that the stress levels amongst British workers is double that of China and India.

This establishes a well-known fact that the economic prosperity of a country has direct co-relation with the stress levels of its workers. It is also well established from various studies that stress has a direct co-relation and has several physical and psychological consequences. For a country such as UK wherein we all enjoy free health care, this unfortunately is a vicious spiral. Stressed workers leading to increased health care expenditure, which in turn forces the country to cut more costs and that results in more stress for the workers.

In order to focus on the solutions, it is important to identify the main causes of employee stress and the following emerge – work-life conflict, poor leadership and management behaviour, lack of job security, lack of team cohesiveness, lack of cooperation and dissatisfaction with the level of pay. There was also a stark difference of stress levels in organisations which had made staff redundant to ones that had not. Yet another indicator that establishes the co-relation to economic difficulty to stress levels of workers is the sector of employment. While healthcare, financial services and retail show extreme levels of stress, employees in high-tech manufacturing have some of the lowest stress levels.

Stress has several consequences some of which are longer term. While absenteeism and decreased productivity will be felt by the employers, the employees tend to suffer from sleep deprivation, headaches, high blood pressure and greater susceptibility to illness.
While there is no magic wand to change this overnight, the issues have to addressed with a sense of urgency. Some of the issues with the so called developed economies are more to do with structural economic issues, skill pool and focus on education etc. which can take several years to rectify; there are few simple steps that the government can take to encourage people to protect themselves to alleviate themselves from the disastrous effects of stress.

This study has yet again established the fact that economic independence and confidence is critical for workers not to get stressed. In the current economic climate, it is impossible for any employer to guarantee anyone


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