6 million employees suffer insomnia due to work stress

6 million employees suffer insomnia due to work stress

Six million Brits - more than the entire population of Scotland - suffer from sleepless nights due to workplace stress, a study has found.

According to research by Rungway, two-fifths (40%) of UK workers have suffered from high workloads or burn out over the past year, causing many to lose their much-needed shuteye.

The 2,000-worker survey, also found that men experienced less stress-related issues at work than women – as over two-fifths (42%) of women battled heavy workloads or stress, compared to just 38% of men.

Those most affected by work anxieties were 25-to-34-year-olds, with over a quarter (28%) saying work issues affected their sleep every week.

In contrast, only one in 10 employees over 55 say work affects their sleep, despite over a fifth (21%) facing hefty workloads and burnout, at some point over the past year.

However, 35-to-44-year-olds suffered most from work related anxieties, with over half (57%) experiencing high-levels of stress and overwhelming workloads in the past 12 months.

Whilst burnout has often been seen as a personal issue, with those overwhelmed by workloads and stress often deemed as incapable of dealing with pressure, burnout is now more widely viewed as a by-product of organisational failures.

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Eric Garton, Partner at Bain & Company, found that when employees aren’t as productive as they could be, it’s usually the organisation, not the individual, who is at fault.

“When we looked inside companies with high burnout rates, we saw three common culprits: excessive collaboration, weak time management disciplines, and a tendency to overload the most capable with too much work,” he said.

Employees working at small and medium sized businesses are most likely to be affected by this.

Research from AXA PPP healthcare found almost half (47%) of SME employees regularly work more than four hours of overtime per week.

Over a quarter (27%) of these employees put in seven or more hours of overtime, even though over half (52%) of SME employees do not get paid for it.

But businesses can prevent burnout with three small adjustments. To read these tips, based on Garton’s and Michael C. Mankin’s research, click here.

Comments (3)

  • Sir
    Fri, 12 May 2017 1:26pm BST
    Why is it that if someone is unable to cope with the demands of any given role, the assumption seems to be that it is the fault of the employer ?
    Maybe some people just take on a role that they are not fully capable of doing ? We all have periods where we are working at the edge of our competence - to do so for a lot of the time (or even all the time) is inevitably stressful.
  • Sir
    Fri, 12 May 2017 1:21pm BST
    Boris - if this is work related maybe you might want to consider a less demanding job ?
  • Boris
    Thu, 11 May 2017 1:42pm BST
    I totally agree with this. My brain sometimes refuses to shut up making sleep almost impossible. My husband, however, can fall asleep mid conversation and never has issues with insomnia. He often despairs at my tossing and turning in an effort to fall asleep. The irony being that when i don't have to work the next day i still can't sleep and find that only when i have a week or more off i can get some decent shuteye!

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