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87% of employees report experiencing significant stress at work

CAREERS87% of employees report experiencing significant stress at work

A survey conducted by Grafton Recruitment reveals that 87% of employees feel overwhelmed by stress at work. The responses indicate that every third person grapples with pressure on a daily basis. The scale of the problem is confirmed by a study by the ICAN Institute commissioned by Wellbee, which found that one in five employees took sick leave or vacation last year due to poor mental health. So, what can employers do to prevent Blue Monday from happening every Monday?

The topic of mental well-being has become a particularly important issue after the pandemic period. According to a Wellbee survey, 61% of employees believe their well-being has deteriorated over the past three years. The sudden isolation, as well as the challenge of balancing personal and professional life, coupled with concerns about health and job stability, have created fertile ground for anxiety among many people. The quarantine period has also proved pivotal in changing the concept of work-life balance — a concept that until now was primarily theoretical.

“Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting, or Lazy Girl Job are just a few trends that have emerged in recent years. These phenomena do not arise out of nowhere. They are all responses, among other things, to exhaustion, decreased motivation and compensation inadequate for the workload, as well as the growing awareness that work should not dominate personal life,” comments Joanna Wanatowicz, Managing Director of Grafton Recruitment.

Employees are struggling to keep up

According to research conducted by Grafton Recruitment as part of their “Salary Report in Companies”, the level of stress is partly dependent on the specifics of work in a particular department. Marketing and PR employees turned out to be the most prone to burnout – 70% of respondents in this group reported job stress, and as many as 35% considered their work “definitely stressful”. The second highest result was recorded in customer service departments, where 26% of employees indicated an alarming response.

“The past year has been marked by fiscal discipline, which largely affected marketing budgets. Many recruitments were frozen. We also observed the phenomenon of disappearing vacancies, when companies decided to distribute the duties of a departing employee among the remaining team members. Changing the HR department’s approach to this aspect will certainly be one of the biggest challenges in the coming months,” explains Kamil Jankowski, Director of Marketing and Communication at Gi Group Holding.

Whether due to the tasks they perform or the industry they work in, employees feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities. This is the result of employment adjustments, team optimization and the pressure for efficiency it involves.

Stressors – not just pay

Redefining efficiency and team engagement also requires a shift in thinking. According to employees surveyed by the ICAN Institute on behalf of Wellbee, the factor that most strongly affects work efficiency is pay directly related to a sense of security. This was indicated by 83% of respondents.

However, the survey results indicate that situations at work can also reflect what’s happening outside the office. Stressors include low mood, workplace atmosphere, financial difficulties, family issues, and low self-esteem. Interestingly, the responses vary by age group. 18-25 year old workers were the only ones to point more often towards mood and work atmosphere than earnings.

Strategy, not benefits

Mental health is no longer as taboo as in the past. This is evident from the increasingly popular benefit of being able to consult with a psychotherapist – 62% of employees indicated a willingness to use such support in the Wellbee survey. However, it is concerning that despite the high interest from employees, only 30% of employers take actions in this area. Experts point out, though, that the results do not necessarily indicate a reluctance to offer such opportunities.

“Recent months have not been conducive to the development of employee benefit packages. However, the basis remains private medical insurance, which is increasingly being extended to services important from the employee’s perspective. The offer is influenced by the expectations of younger generations, hence recently amenities such as flexible working hours, including the possibility of hybrid work, have been gaining popularity. Additional paid leave days are extremely appreciated, as indicated in the Grafton Recruitment survey by a whopping 65% of respondents,” explains Mateusz Skiba, client relationship manager, recruiter, and trainer at Grafton Recruitment.

Although non-wage benefits often determine the choice of employment place, the increasing scale of challenges related to well-being shows that supporting mental health should be considered as a consistent element of corporate strategy, not just an occasional benefit.

A shift driven by Gen Z

The increasingly resonant voice of Generation Z is a harbinger of change, as they clearly communicate their needs and verify how employers’ promises are implemented in reality. Young people do not hesitate to express their disapproval for sacrificing health for career.

“Although adapting to the expectations of the youngest employees is still a challenge, we can learn a lot by understanding their perspective. We often forget that the basic capital of any business is its employees, who require a holistic approach that goes beyond merely defining professional priorities. Employers should of course take into account the well-being of all employees, regardless of their age. It is often people representing older generations who tend to work overtime, read emails during holidays, or skip rest and leave,” says Joanna Wanatowicz, Managing Director at Grafton Recruitment.

The culture in organizations is largely shaped by its leaders, so their values, ambitions, and habits set the direction for the company. Therefore, it is crucial to examine how the work environment shapes employees’ attitudes.

Interestingly, according to the Wellbee survey, 95% of employees believe that effective communication is one of the most important skills they will need to learn in the coming months. In the face of high employee turnover, organizing training that allows for the understanding of mutual needs may prove particularly valuable for entire organizations.

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