Struggling with stress? You’re not alone. 59% of UK workers have experienced work stress and 54% had trouble sleeping because of it.
Most of us endure stress at some point in our careers. Long hours, overtime and a heavy workload can all be key contributors to our work-related stress. But how stressful is your job compared to the rest of the UK? New research from Workwear Giant has uncovered just how the UK’s occupations compare – analysing earnings, unpaid overtime and stress.
Workwear Giant’s investigation has revealed the most and least stressful jobs. The research has indicated that the more you earn, the more you seem to suffer from stress, with the professional category most affected and jobs such as skilled trade and plant processing, the least.
What Causes Workplace Stress?
So, what exactly makes these jobs stressful? Studies have found the main cause of stress at work is an employee’s workload which can be affected by tight deadlines, being too busy and having too much responsibility.
In terms of the most stressful jobs, each has a great deal of responsibility, with many people relying on them to carry out their role. It’s no wonder workers in these occupations suffer. It also seems the number of hours you work can contribute to your stress level too, causing work overload and exhaustion.
15.4 Million Working Days Lost Due to Work-Related Stress
The impact workplace stress is having on the UK is enormous, and it’s not just the professional category that is affected by stress. The effects can be seen across all industries. So much so, that a huge 15.4 million working days were lost due to it.
Studies show that only 6% of employees in the UK had felt no stress towards work and 41% report moderate stress at work. This is damaging not only to the people suffering but for employers too. It’s believed employee turnover is at an all-time high, which is worrying considering 46% of UK workers have searched for a new job because of stress.
With this in mind, Workwear Giant have uncovered the average earnings, stress level and unpaid overtime and scored them out of 5, with 1 being the lowest score, to calculate a Job Quality Index.
Uncovered: The Most Stressful Jobs
The data is surprising – careers that are seen as aspirational, such as teaching and welfare occupations, are in fact amongst the lowest overall job quality. However, with welfare professionals working an extra 8.6 hours of (unpaid) overtime each week, and teachers working 12.5 hours of unpaid overtime each week, it’s unsurprising why their jobs can be stressful. In fact, welfare professionals only scored 2/5 for their ‘unpaid overtime’ and teaching professionals scored 1/5.
Teachers on average earn £25,692 per annum, which only gives them 3/5, and an overall score of 6. Legal professionals, on the other hand, earn a hefty wage of £69,992 per annum, which makes you wonder why this career would be so low on the Job Quality Index. But, legal professionals are one of the most stressed, with 3,040 cases of workplace stress per 100,000 workers, it gives the profession just 2/5 for stress. Lowering the legal job quality score, even more, is the fact the occupation works an extra 9.6 hours (unpaid) each week.
Revealed: The Least Stressful Jobs
Skilled tradesmen earn on average £27,279 per annum – that’s £1,587 more than teaching and education professionals. Skilled tradesmen also have the benefit of having overtime that is paid (5/5), and are the least stressed (5/5), thus giving them one of the highest scores in the Job Quality Index – 13/15. Similar to skilled trade professions, process, plant and machine operatives don’t necessarily have to study at University for this career, (and rack up thousands of pounds in debt) unlike some of the most stressful jobs. Yet, they score a huge 13/15 in the Job Quality Index. There’s only 630 reported cases of work stress per 100,000 workers in the process, plant and machine operative profession – giving them 5/5 for stress.
How to Identify and Manage Workplace Stress
Sometimes it’s easier for someone else to recognise stress in you, that’s why it’s even more important for employers and managers to be able to identify it. The most common signs of stress are:
● Worrying – i.e. constantly asking questions or being concerned about upcoming deadlines.
● An inability to concentrate
● Having difficulty making decisions, especially with simple ones.
● Being less creative
● Getting irritated easily
● Being tearful
● Having sleep problems
● Suffering from headaches
If you are an employer or manager and believe a team member is suffering from stress, it’s vital to talk to the employee and find out the cause of their stress. Once you have identified the problem you can then find a solution that can be agreed on, most issues can always be solved and there is always help if you need it, such as a GP or talking to a charity like Mind. As well as this you should encourage your team to talk to a manager if they believe they’re suffering from stress or becoming mentally unwell.