Covid-19 fuelling surge in work-related stress across UK and Europe


The coronavirus pandemic is increasing work-related stress across both the UK and Europe, a survey has concluded.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of those in work across the UK and Europe said their work-related stress levels had increased compared with pre-pandemic levels, according to the research by insurer AXA.

Of these, eight out of ten (81%) described themselves as having a “poor” or “low” state of mind.

Of the UK workers polled, 27% of those aged 25-34 said their mental health had deteriorated during the pandemic, compared with 17% of those aged 55-plus.

The study, A Report on Mental Health & Wellbeing in Europe, canvassed 5,800 working and non-working people across the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, working people have missed having personal encounters. Along with Spain (85%), Britons (82%) led the way when it comes to missing physical contact with people outside of their direct household. France (78%), Italy (78%), Belgium (75%), Switzerland (73%) and Germany (65%) following.

Dr Chris Tomkins, AXA Health head of wellbeing, said: “As the pandemic continues into winter, it’s imperative that working people not only stay safe but also remember to look after their all-round health – and that employers and their health partners support this.”

“For those who’ve switched to working from home there are new challenges. Your work now spills into your living room, kitchen and your family environment. So, it’s important to put clear physical and psychological boundaries in place to ensure you’re not slipping into being ‘always on’ for work.

“Management should lead by example by sharing what works for them. Try to be disciplined with regular breaks and ‘time-outs’ in your day, as these can be invaluable in helping you pause, re-energise and refocus,” he added.

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