Finance sector workers lose 25 days a year to stress

Workplace stress
By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

12 April 2016

Employees working in the UK financial services industry lose an average of 25 days worth of productive time a year as a result of stress, according to new research.

A study by VitalityHealth, Mercer, the University of Cambridge and RAND Europe surveyed 33,000 employees and found that finance workers are second only to those working in healthcare, who lose an average of 27 days of productive time every year.

This loss of productivity is estimated to cost the UK around £57bn a year.

Not only does the study highlight the significant financial damage this loss of productivity can have on the economy, it brings to light the high number of people who are suffering from some form of work related stress.

A concerning 73% of employees suffer from at least one dimension of work-related stress.

A lack of physical activity was found to be one of the main contributing factors to higher levels of stress in the workplace. Heath care workers, for example, were found to fall below the national average for physical activity.

Five ways to combat workplace stress


With high levels of stress linked to a lack of physical exercise, this one seems a bit obvious. Get out of the office on your lunch and go for a walk. Take a friend with you and it's the perfect opportunity for a mid-day catch-up. For the more energetic among you, going for a run is a great way to blow those mental cobwebs away.

Eat right

The chocolatey delights held within the vending machine are awfully tempting, but they do nothing for your energy levels and overall mood. The initial spike in your blood sugar will fade fast, leaving you feeling burned out. Oats, bananas, avocado and nuts contain slow release sugar and carbs, keeping you feeling fuller, and more alert, for longer.

Talk about it

Keeping your worries and stresses buried deep inside of you can do more damage than good. Talking it out with someone you trust can help unburden your mind. You might also find that the person can offer a solution you may not have thought of otherwise.

Book a holiday

Travel broadens the mind, and helps get it off of work. Taking a long weekend break or a holiday can help clear your head and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to work.

Get to your bed

When you're halfway through a binge session of your favourite new show, it can be easy to put off going to bed. But you may regret watching that last episode when you're shuffling about like a zombie in the morning. Try and get to bed at a reasonable time and resist the temptation to spend hours scrolling on your phone.

If you work in the high-tech industry, however, you are likely to be among the most productive workers in the UK. With nearly 72% of employees physically active they are the least stressed, losing only 19 days of productivity a year.

Shaun Subel, director at Vitality-Health, said that "it is quite worrying to see that even in high-tech, the best-performing sector in terms of productivity, 19 days of productive time is still lost by each employee each year".

Shaun also called for companies to "invest in the health and well-being of their staff. Reducing workplace stress and encouraging employees to stay physically active should help increase productivity levels and protect the business bottom line."


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