mental health
4th November 2016

A new survey has shown that one in four Brits say that work makes them unhappy, with management styles, technology and workplace relationships being identified as main reasons for the unhappiness.

1500 British workers were surveyed from across the private and public sectors. The study also found that those surveyed did not place value on taking a lunch break, or getting fresh air during the day.

Dr Martin Strudley is an Occupational Health Physician and Medical Director for the ELAS Group. He says these results are worrying: “People spend the majority of their time in work, and the extent to which a job can affect personal wellbeing cannot be understated. If one in four Brits are unhappy in work then this will probably be spilling over into their personal life as well. We have found that nearly two thirds of employees have experienced negative effects on their personal life including physical and mental health problems, poor relationships and poor home life as a result of their work.”

There are four simple steps which a company can take to help ensure their employees maintain a good work/life balance:

  • Have defined working hours. Ensure that employee workloads are manageable within these time constraints and employees have proper breaks
  • Encourage a culture of openness. Employees must feel able to speak up if the demands placed on them are too great
  • Train managers to recognise the signs of stress and a poor work/life balance in employees. Know the effects that stress can have on a person and put preventative measures in place
  • Put in place policies that acknowledge the links between work-related stress and mental health. Regularly monitor and evaluate policies against performance indicators i.e. sickness or staff satisfaction

Having good supervision, clear goals, appraisals and staff development are key things that some take for granted but which can set the tone for supporting people at work. The things you can do to support someone often cost far less than having someone on sick leave, or having to recruit a replacement for a person who leaves.


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