Stress and burnout at an all time high.
A survey of more than 1,300 European workers by Amsterdam-based learning and development scaleup Lepaya has found that 66% have experienced unhealthy levels of stress at work.
This rose to 71% for German employees, 67% for Belgian staff and 70% for British workers. The Dutch reported slightly lower levels of unhealthy stress (56%), but that is still more than half.
Only 34% of those surveyed across Europe noted that they were unbothered by these high levels of stress.
Unfortunately, the return to the office only looks to add to these levels of stress, according to Lepaya. 38% of those surveyed said that returning to the office would negatively impact their average stress levels at work.
This rises to 42% for Belgian workers, 40% for German staff and 44% for UK employees. But this only a concern for 26% of Dutch workers.
The report notes: “Although 26% doesn’t seem like much, employees are indicating here that they will experience extra stress.
“Adding more stress to already pre-existing unhealthy levels of work stress; a form of stress that is related to working in the office.”
Should employers help workers combat stress?
Lepaya’s report is very clear that European employees believe it is their employer’s responsibility to help them manage their workplace stress.
56% of the European workers surveyed by Lepaya stated that they disagreed that tackling stress was the responsibility of the employer and 59% said they were disappointed with their employer’s actions to tackle their unhealthy levels of stress.
Instead, 62% said they would like more support from their employer – 57% of Dutch workers, 67% of Belgian employees, 65% of UK staff and 57% of German workers.
Lepaya’s report notes: “This is not surprising, after all, work stress is closely related to a number of factors at play within an organization.
“While an employee can develop the right skills to deal with stress, they must be given the right tools.”
European employees are particularly interested (71%) in employers equipping them with the right stress management skills and techniques.
This was particularly the case for younger employers. More than 60% of both the under 30s and the 30- to 39-year-olds expect their organization to help them to deal with work-related stress. This declined to around 50% for the over 60s.
Lepaya’s report concludes: “Mental health is becoming more prominent and part of our collective consciousness.
“Now that we also see that employees experience a lot of stress, but at the same time are also very open to a solution, this proves to be an excellent time for organizations to step in and lend a helping hand.”
“Stress has a number of causes and preventing a high workload is not always the only solution. Sometimes it simply has to do with the expectations between employer and employee,” notes Lepaya founder René Janssen.
“It is therefore important to properly map out the underlying causes of stress. Get to the root of the problem and also focus on stress-reducing tactics and training.”