Stress is reportedly affecting the British workforce substantially, with more people suffering from mental health and medical conditions than ever, which as a result leads to reduced productivity and more days being taken off sick. To combat this, Professor John Ashton, President of the UK Faculty for Public Health, has stated that we should change to a 4 day working week, or strengthen further the right to request flexible working hours.
Ashton stated that reducing the working week by just one day will allow people to spend more time with their families and exercising, and will also reduce unemployment. He believes that a proportion of the population are working too hard, and a proportion are not working at all, causing extreme stress all round.
Those who are overworked are more likely to suffer with problems like: high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, breakdowns in relationships and also alcohol or drug abuse. Studies have also proven, that people are likely to dismiss their lunch break, and instead eat a sandwich at their desk whilst continuing to work.
A recent YouGov survey showed that 57 percent of workers support a 4 day week, and 71 percent think it would make Britain a happier place. With the growing problem of excessive working hours, and reports highlighting Britons work some of the longest days in Europe, there is an extreme pressure to maintain a work-life balance.
Ashton stated we need ambition to move to a European level in the next 10-20 years, and that it is still too easy for employers to block flexible work requests, despite the recent change in law. The campaign for flexible hours and a 4 day week aims to decrease stress and medical problems, so that we do not follow in the steps of China who are currently suffering from deaths due to their overworked population.
If you are suffering from stress caused by the workplace, contact us now for advice on a claim.