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February 14, 2008

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Samaritans- Workplace bullying is rife

In a survey carried out for the charity’s Stress Down Friday – held nationwide on 1 February – nfpSynergy questioned 2100 adults in the UK, and 500 in the Republic of Ireland in Novemeber last year.

The research found that more than 80 per cent of workers said they had been bullied during their careers, and a third were so stressed they had dreamt of quitting for a life abroad. Over half of respondents said their jobs were getting more stressful, and that work was overtaking their home lives.

The Samaritans Joe Ferns said: “Job-related stress has a serious and unrecognised impact on the health of the nation and the economy, affecting concentration and efficiency. In 2005, 13 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety – at a staggering cost of £3.7 billion to UK plc. Positive workplaces are a big factor in keeping everyone emotionally healthy.”

The survey found that young employees (18-24 years) are most vulnerable to stress, with 38 per cent feeling less likely than all other age groups to talk openly to their managers, and 57 per cent unable to talk to colleagues. Forty-eight per cent are more likely to be bullied by clients and customers, whereas over half of other age groups reported being bullied by their managers.

Occupation also has a major influence on stress, with more than 40 per cent of IT workers, retailers, caterers and engineers feeling unsupported at work, and over half unable to deal with stress, compared with people in health, education, banking and finance, more than half of whom claim they receive adequate support at work.

The Samaritans provide a 24-hour confidential support service by phone and email. The charity also runs WorkLife, a training course to tackle stress in the workplace and provide practical skills for managers and team members. A CD-ROM of the course is also available.

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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