82% of Irish workers stressed

Over 80% of employees are suffering increased stress levels, according to a new survey, and the stress has a knock-on effect on workplace morale and productivity and company staffing.

Research by international human resources consultancy Mercer shows that health, providing for family, planning for retirement, and meeting the cost of household bills are the main issues on the minds of workers and that more than 60% of those surveyed would welcome and value their employer doing more to help with dealing with stressed employees.

“Employers who proactively look to provide support and resources to help staff manage stress will see dividends in terms of improved productivity and morale and lower staff turnover,” said Mercer partner Niall O’Callaghan.

“They will also be better-placed to recruit and retain the most talented staff in a tightening labour market as the economy recovers. The increasing high levels of stress experienced in Ireland over the past number of years is bad for business, and bad for employees and the companies for whom they work.”

In all, Mercer — which works directly with companies employing over 250,000 workers in Ireland — surveyed nearly 2,000 people in Ireland and the UK for its study. 

It found that 82% of those questioned here said they face increased stress at work. That figure is well above the 74% of workers with the same complaint in Britain.

“Irish employees are clearly suffering from the burden of increased stress and worry that is damaging their ability to concentrate and deliver the best results for their employers,” said Mr O’Callaghan.

“Across all life stages and ages, employees’ personal worries about their health and financial security are having a dramatic effect on how they operate at work.

“If employees are worried, distracted, not as healthy as they could be, then they are not as engaged as they could be either.

“Enabling employees to address their concerns is in the interest of employers and employees.”

In terms of what help employees are looking for, nearly 60% said financial and retirement planning advice and online training and development access would be welcomed.


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