LONDON, April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
~Virgin urges employers to prioritise workplace wellbeing~
New statistics released today reveal that over half of full-time workers in Britain (51%) say they have suffered 'burn out' or anxiety at work, leaving them feeling emotionally or physically exhausted (1). The results were released as Virgin announced a groundbreaking 'Virgin Disruptors' event this month which will debate the future of workplace wellbeing (2).
The research paints a worrying picture, with over half of Brits saying they have suffered from 'burn out' or anxiety in their current job. This tends to peak among workers aged between 25 and 34, with 57% confessing to having suffered physical or emotional exhaustion or anxiety at work.
Amy Leaper, Head of People Innovation at Virgin Management, believes there are a number of triggers which result in high stress levels. Amy said:
"The growing incidence of high stress levels and exhaustion at work is a real concern. The challenging economic environment has in many cases resulted in the pressure to do more with less, so employees experience 'burn out' when the demands of work become too much. We are now living in a hyper-connected world which also means that people really struggle to switch off and work frequently spills over into personal life."
The statistics also reveal that:
- Almost a quarter of adults working full-time say their job has a negative or very negative impact on their home life (24%), with people aged between 55 and over feeling the impact the most (29%).
- Almost three-quarters (74%) of women and over half of men (59%) confess they find themselves moaning about their job to friends and family.
- More than one in four adults working full-time (28%) say they spend more time with colleagues than anyone else. Just 4% spend most time with friends, and a mere 13% spend more time with family than their colleagues (3).
"Employers need to recognise the importance of employee wellbeing and our Virgin Disruptors debate will put this under the spotlight. There are many ways, often at little expense, that companies of any size can help to bring balance to workers' lives.
"We know that a happy, healthy workforce is a more creative and motivated workforce, which is ultimately better for business performance. The first steps are listening to your people about what would make the biggest difference and reviewing existing benefits to see how they can be flexed to give people options and best meet their needs."
The results were released as Virgin announced its next Virgin Disruptors live event where Sir Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg and Arianna Huffington among others will be debating the future of workplace wellbeing. From Virgin's recent decision to implement unlimited leave for Virgin Management staff, to Zappos introduction of 'Holacracy' - a flat, democratic management style.
Statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions estimate that around 130 million days are being lost to sickness absence each year and working age ill-health is estimated to cost the national economy £100 billion a year (4).
Former City lawyers Barbara Dewast and Alison Gill know all too well the impact of working long and stressful hours. They launched a health and wellbeing start-up, Workout at Work, after recognising that wellness and work-life balance is frequently treated as a taboo among corporate firms.
Barbara, 32, lives in Clapham, South West London and is married with three children, aged six, three and five months. She worked in the City for over four years. Barbara said:
"Like most city workers, I would wake up early and be out of my front door to drop off my toddlers at nursery by 7.30am. From the time I arrived at work there would be no real break until early evening. I would force myself to leave the office to kiss my children goodnight and then log-on after dinner and work until late. After spending time with my family and trying to maintain a social life, there was no time left to exercise or take care of my body and mind.
"Employees are anxious about voicing concerns about their workload and stress levels so they just battle on alone which can result in 'burn-out'. Stress management techniques such as mindfulness or a regular pilates or yoga session should be a policy in every company to help employers maintain a healthy business."
Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder said:
"Within the Virgin Group we run a range of initiatives to help people stay healthy. Employers need to challenge the 'norm' and find new ways of working to create the best environment for their people to thrive. I truly believe that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business."
The Disruptors debate will be streamed live on virgin.com on Thursday April 23rd at 8pm. To find out more visit virgin.com/disruptors.
Notes to Editors
- All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2026 adults, of which 855 work full-time. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd-7th April 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
- The Virgin Disruptors event will be streamed live on virgin.com on Thursday April 23rd at 8pm
- 'Family' refers to all family excluding partner.
- Department for Work and Pensions, 10th February 2014: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/a-million-workers-off-sick-for-more-than-a-month
About Virgin Disruptors: Through rich content and intelligent debate, Virgin Disruptors tackles today's hot topics and their place in an ever-changing cultural zeitgeist. The event series features disruptive innovators who are truly changing business for good, in an effort to create positive change and challenge conventional wisdom. Find out more at virgin.com/disruptors.
Workout @ Work is a company that aims to create happier, healthier Londoners. Founded by ex-city lawyers in 2013, Workout @ Work works together with businesses to offer wellness days and health and wellbeing programmes to their employees. Services include nutrition and wellness workshops, mindfulness courses, yoga, pilates, running clubs and desk massages. For more information please visit http://www.workoutatwork.org or email Contact@workoutatwork.org
SOURCE Virgin Management