Fewer holidays and greater stress for UK workers
As it is revealed that Britain has re-entered recession, the impact of the economic downturn on employees is coming to light.
In a recent survey carried out by Nuffield Health, 1,500 adults were questioned in relation to workplace satisfaction. The results show a worrying rise in stress levels of employees, who are taking fewer holidays and working longer hours due to the effect of the recession. Over half of the people questioned admitted to increases in stress levels in recent years and to their personal lives being affected as a result of workplace stress.
While those in Yorkshire were shown to have the best work-life balance, people working in London came out at the bottom. It was revealed that 44% of the Londoners surveyed had not used up all of their holiday entitlement. Reasons for not taking holiday allowances were varied: some claimed to be too busy, others could not afford a holiday, while others feared that taking a break would affect their job security. It was also revealed that almost a third of all those surveyed worked up to seven hours a week on unpaid overtime.
With the current rate of unemployment hovering at 8.3%, just 0.1% short of the 12-year high, growing numbers of people are desperate simply to have a job. As a result, those who are working are increasingly willing to tolerate circumstances that are far from ideal, simply to remain in employment.
The results of the survey have also highlighted the recession’s potentially damaging effects to the overall personal and physical health of the nation. A quarter of the people interviewed admitted to using alcohol to help themselves cope with increased stress, whilst 29% revealed that they argued more with those close to them since the beginning of the downturn.