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Why stress levels are rising in UK offices

Workloads have gone up significantly in UK offices in the past year, causing increased stress and threatening employee well-being.

A OnePoll survey of 3,000 office workers in the UK, Germany and France on behalf of Wrike has found that 62% of UK workers say their stress levels have increased in the past year.

This puts the UK second to Germany, where two-thirds felt their stress levels had increased, and slightly ahead of France (60%).

Nearly six in ten (58%) UK employees said that their workload had gone up to some extent, and a fifth said it had gone up "significantly" in the past year. The main problem, according to those polled, is that companies are either not hiring more staff to cover additional work, or they have had to cut their workforce.

Almost half of those polled in the UK (47%) said they now had to work longer hours to get the job done compared to a year ago. UK employees also reported that their line managers expect them to work longer hours (34%) and to take fewer breaks (27%) to get the job done. When asked by OnePoll, 40% of managers admitted they expect their employees to work longer hours.

As well as causing stress, employees say family time and holidays have taken a hit - 31% now spend less time with their family than a year ago, 28% have less time for holidays and 25% now work more at weekends than they used to.

"You wouldn't overload a piece of machinery and expect it to last long without failure," said Andrew Filev, founder and CEO of Wrike
"The same principles apply to humans, especially if you expect them to produce high quality work on a consistent basis. Business leaders need a clear view of workloads - and realistic expectations as to the amount of work staff can handle at once, without burning out."

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