Stats provided by the “on-demand” customer service provider alldayPA reveal that 68% of workers feel stressed at work (5% always, 19% most of the time, 44% some of the time). Only 24% reported that they rarely felt overwhelmed in their role with fewer, 6%, reporting having no work-related stress at all, with 1% preferring not to say. The data shows that this stress is largely caused by a disproportionate work-life balance, with professionals prioritising their working role over their personal wellbeing.

A staggering 70% of self-employed respondents haven’t taken any sick days in the past 12 months. Of this same survey group, only 7% had used any annual leave in this same period, with the reason cited being the impact on earnings.

In comparison, the data showed that full-time employees with access to mandatory sick pay provided by employers are more likely to take time away from work, with 48% of them taking sick days and 38% taking the full amount of annual leave (21-30 days) afforded to them.

Employees appreciate feeling like they can take a sick day whenever required if they are not well enough to work. Many companies are now increasing their flexibility and allowing employees to work from home. This flexibility may have impacted the results with employees who may have previously called in sick deciding, instead, that working from home whilst unwell was still feasible.

According to alldayPA’s findings, the source of work-related stress varies. Out of 2,000 respondents, a range of different factors were recorded including workload (29%), working hours (17%), deadlines (16%), distractions in the office (15%), and managing relationships with their manager (14%) and other colleagues (13%).

In total, 21% of workers reported feeling overwhelmed the most at work by work-related comms, finding themselves trying to manage day-to-day responsibilities alongside emails, meetings and calls.

Manchester-based alldayPA spoke to HR experts Eden Mayers who commented on how best to tackle workplace stress:

“It’s really important to prioritise the tasks that you have if you’re feeling overwhelmed. For example, you could use the urgent vs important matrix – this will help to identify where to focus your energy and what tasks could be delegated, ditched or automated. Once you know what the pressing tasks are, turn off your email and notifications and focus on one at a time.

“Should you find that you are struggling with getting everything done on time or you get asked to do other things by your manager, use the matrix to show your priorities and ask what you should prioritise to get the new task completed.”

Findings from the survey also revealed that the majority of people in full-time employment now work under a hybrid working model but feel as though they work better in an office environment, with only 28% of workers stating that they can focus more on their work at home. Half of these workers have a client-facing job, while 52% don’t have direct contact with clients or customers, which has created new mental health challenges when it comes to more people working from home in isolated environments who may feel cut off from others.

alldayPA have looked into the lunch breaks that employees take. Regular breaks are known to aid productivity, so taking a lunch break is always highly recommended. The standard lunch break for most companies is at least half an hour, with many encouraging employees to take a full hour.

However, the finding shows that just under a quarter of respondents take less than 15 minutes for lunch, while only 37% of workers reported taking just 16-30 minutes for themselves at lunchtime – resulting in burnout and increased stress levels when having to manage their workload.

Eden Mayers also spoke to alldayPA about how people can manage their time effectively at work: “Employees need to identify what is making them stressed at work and ask for support. If it’s related to working relationships with others, speak to HR or your manager. Likewise, if it’s the volume of work, gather the evidence and have a frank conversation with your manager, with HR present if necessary.

“If your company has Mental Health First Aiders, talk to them. They may be able to signpost you to places to get support. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your employer, go and see your GP. Don’t bottle it up.”

Founder of alldayPA, Reuben Singh, commented: “It’s concerning that over half of the respondents feel more under pressure as their job requires more multi-tasking and they find it difficult to focus on their work while working from home. I believe that this happened as a result of full-time workers having to adjust to a new routine, which requires them to work outside an office environment and are more at risk to be distracted at home.

“Our survey data also revealed that the majority of respondents worked in a customer service role, which shows that Britons are struggling to keep up with customer demand. So, we wanted to ensure that people were aware that alldayPA is here to help self-employed workers, SMEs, and large businesses manage their workload and customer inquiries.”

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