One in four people feel stressed at work because of bullying by colleagues and clients, a survey has found.
More than 80% of employees across a wide range of occupations admitted to being bullied at least once during their career and over a half said their jobs were becoming increasingly stressful.
Stress ignored by bosses
But a third of people, in the survey of 2,600 adults across the UK and Ireland, claimed their boss ignored stress levels.
And a high 83% of respondents said they would prefer to tell their manager that they were sick rather than admit to being stressed out.
People who work in IT, retail, catering, and engineering were more likely to feel unsupported by their bosses, than those in health, education or finance, and over a half said they were unable to deal with stress.
Young people, aged 18-24, were the most vulnerable group to work-related stress.
Stress Down Day
The survey was carried out by the Samaritans to highlight the damage stress causes to the nation’s health and economy. To kick off their campaign, Stress Down Day on February 1, the Samaritans is calling on all workers to wear slippers to work.
According to the Samaritans’ Joe Ferns, the UK economy lost £3.7bn in 2005 through 13 million sick-days caused by stress, depression or anxiety but its impact remained “serious and unrecognised”.
Professor Care Cooper, an expert in work-related stress at Lancaster University, said: “These results really disturb me. Shouldn’t we be managing people by reward and praise rather than by fault finding and bullying?”