Getting worked up over stress

25th March 2013

Getting worked up over stress If the never-ending 'To Do' list at work seems unachievable and lunchtime means another hurried sandwich eaten 'al desko' in the office, then you're not alone.

According to research, 40 per cent of office workers are under 'dangerously high' levels of stress due to a combination of unpaid overtime, unachievable expectations and taking on additional duties for colleagues.* 'Staff burnout' is becoming a common problem for nearly a third (30 per cent) of companies, according to the study of HR directors, with 67 per cent of respondents believing workload to be to blame. Long working hours and unachievable expectations were also piling on the pressure for stressed workforces. Phil Sheridan of recruitment firm Robert Half UK, which commissioned the research, said: -Employee burnout can affect almost any professional, from top boss to rank and file employee. -Many employees who have been tackling increased workloads while putting in long hours are beginning to lose their motivation at work. Symptoms of employee burnout include emotional outbursts, becoming withdrawn and more frequent sickness absence. Stress is even affecting mealtimes and breaks for some of us, with another recent survey finding half of respondents putting in so much overtime they eat both breakfast and lunch at work or 'al desko' - while ten per cent eat all three of their daily meals in the workplace. There is some good news, however, with half of the directors surveyed saying they were trying to tackle stress and prevent employee burnout with methods including promoting a teamwork-based environment, reviewing job functions and flexible working options. There are also proactive steps employees can also take to help themselves when times are tough. Westfield Health's Chamber Primary Health Plan, which is available to all members of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, includes a 24 hour counselling and advice line. Policyholders can call the 24/7 line and speak to counsellors day or night to access help and support with issues including work-related stress and anxiety, as well as any personal issues affecting them. The plan also offers access to up to six face to face counselling sessions, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a form of therapy which focuses on thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes and how they relate to the way we behave. For more information about the Chamber Plan, click here or call 0845 602 1629, available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday

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