UK workers admit that work is negatively affecting their health and wellbeing, leading to unnecessary suffering and loss in productivity, according to a study by One4all rewards.

The study of 2,000 full and part-time workers across the UK published in the Health in the Workplace Report, highlights the importance of employers making a conscious effort to ensure the wellbeing of their workers.

In the past year, 11 percent of employees reported falling ill as a direct result of work, and twice as many (22%) said they regularly suffer from high levels of stress due to pressures from work. 17 percent also admitted that they often suffered problems sleeping as a result of their job.

Declan Byrne, managing director of One4all Rewards, comments;

“These are worrying findings for everyone.  Not only are many workers feeling increasingly stretched and unhappy, but their employers are also losing out as stressed-out workers significantly under-perform.

“Recent studies have shown how 80% of white collar workers in the UK currently work over 40 hours per week and also that developments in technology mean that it is getting harder and harder to switch off when not in the office.

“This report indicates the importance employers should be placing on ‘Workplace Wellness’ – not only out of a sense of corporate responsibility, but also as a way to boost productivity and give them a competitive edge when recruiting and retaining the best staff.”

Only 6 percent of workers felt that their job has a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. This is indicative of how very few UK employees find work a positive and enjoyable experience.

Workers in London are the worst effected, with 33 percent reporting that there work is suffering as they are (this is compared to the national average of 23%).

30 percent of workers in relatively junior positions (aged 25-35) admit to their performance being below par due to pressure from work.

The worst affected areas are IT, PR and Marketing, with 37 percent of workers reporting reduced productivity as a result of poor health or stress.

Byrne continues;

“In order to create more positive working environments, businesses need to consider how they can incentivise better behaviours.  Putting out the right messages about working habits and rewarding people with health-enhancing benefits, such as fitness activities, duvet days and creating the right facilities in the office can make commercial sense as well as being good corporate behaviour.”