Stressed staff 'head for burnout'

StressOne in three workers are being affected by excessive pressure in their job as Britain's employees head for a "wellbeing meltdown", according to new research.

A survey of 2,600 employees found that over half worked more hours than normal over the past three years and many expected the trend to continue.

Professional services firm Towers Watson said its study highlighted the demands on workers caused by the recession, with only half of UK workers feeling their stress levels at work are manageable.

More than a quarter of UK workers have not taken all their holiday entitlement over the last three years, coinciding with redundancies and job cuts across the country, said the report.

Charles Fair, of Towers Watson, said: "This research raises huge concerns over our country's health and wellbeing at work. Several years of economic uncertainty have led to increased anxiety around job security, with workers putting in longer hours than ever, raising concerns of burnout amongst British workers.

"Businesses should act now to avoid a 'work until you drop' culture turning into the norm, with workers becoming increasingly unproductive, something our economy can ill-afford at the moment.

"If employees are overworked and stressed then their levels of engagement, morale and wellbeing are correspondingly low and this can have a real impact on the bottom line for many organisations. Understanding employees' needs and putting in place a thorough health and wellbeing strategy can pay dividends for organisations of all sizes."

Results for the UK were in line with those seen across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with similar numbers of workers feeling that there was excessive pressure, longer working hours and fewer resources available in the workplace.
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