Stress, burnout late work – and women suffer most

Four in every five workers have felt close to burning out at some point this year, according to new research into the state of mental health in the UK workforce.

Women suffered slightly more with 81 per cent feeling the effects as opposed to 77 per cent of men.

Another factor was the increase in the frequency of evening work over the past year, something that affected everyone from entry-level graduates to company directors, indicating that burnout risk follows a U-shaped curve in organisations.

And 43 per cent also agreed they hadn’t felt able to tell their manager when poor mental health was affecting their day-to-day, according to the data compiled by Censuswide and mental health startup, Spill.

although the pandemic has been a catalyst for workplace mental health issues, employees have for a long time needed more effective psychological support to stay engaged and happy

A third said their bosses hadn’t done enough to help and a similar number said they had considered therapy for the first time this year. Of that group, a third have already started seeing a therapist.

Spill founder Calvin Benton, Founder, said: “We shouldn’t underestimate the psychological impacts of the huge changes to our working lives this year. The shift to remote working alone presents a number of challenges, not to mention the uncertainty and job insecurity caused by a deepening recession.

“But although the pandemic has been a catalyst for workplace mental health issues, employees have for a long time needed more effective psychological support to stay engaged and happy at work.

Another survey has revealed more about the effect the pandemic is having on the mental health of small business staff, with a suggestion that two in three have been affected – and confirming that women are suffering marginally more than men.

The survey by the Personal Guarantee Insurance provider Purbeck found 66 per cent of women have suffered from issues such as poor sleep, feelings of isolation, stress and anxiety, plus general feelings of depression and anger.

In contrast, 62 per cent of men said their mental health had suffered and 20 per cent of them  said they were suffering from poor sleep.

Most affected were 35-44 year olds, according to the feedback. Those in the 55-64 age bracket least likely to have been affected.

Income appears to have little bearing.  While those earning £10-£20,000 a year were more likely to have sleeping problems than those earning over £40,000, across the board, almost 40 per cent felt more stressed and anxious as a direct consequence of the pandemic.

Purbeck MD Todd Davison said: “2021 has not started in the way we hoped and fears are growing over the number of small businesses that will go to the wall this year.  Purbeck protects small business owners and directors from the risks of signing personal guarantees for business loans, so we have been on the front-line supporting firms facing significant financial distress.”

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