Stress reduces employee engagement, study finds
Ensuring staff are not facing too much stress should work in the favour of businesses, as Towers Watson’s Global Benefits Attitudes survey shows higher levels of anxiety equates to less engagement.
More than half (57 per cent) of workers questioned who said they are facing high levels of stress revealed they are disengaged at work. This compared to just 10 per cent of those with low stress levels.
Not only do bosses find their workers are less involved with their roles, but higher stress causes them to take longer off work.
Towers Watson discovered that the average amount of sick days stands at 4.6 for highly stressed workers and just 2.6 days for those who said they face low levels of anxiety.
Rebekah Haymes, senior consultant and wellbeing specialist at Towers Watson, suggested action needs to be taken to ensure wellbeing and give people a better chance at a healthy lifestyle.
“Companies could take more responsibility for educating employees about the benefits of better sleep, physical activity, good nutrition and a work life balance in order to keep employees healthy, happy and productive,” she commented.
One way of achieving this could be through encouraging online work breaks, as identified by a recent study from the University of Cincinnati.
Experts found that online breaks can enhance productivity. They are typically split into two categories – pleasure-seeking and non-work related duties and responsibilities.
The first refers to tasks such as listening to music and reading articles, while the other includes talking to friends and family and paying bills.
Just 15 per cent of senior managers questioned by Towers Watson identified understaffing as a major cause for concern in their organisation.
Further to this, 34 per cent of workers believe making technology accessible outside of the workplace increased their levels of anxiety, perhaps because they are never able to totally disconnect.
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