Men are four times more likely than women to phone in sick due to work-related stress
Of the 3,000 workers surveyed by healthcare cash plan provider, Medicash found 20% of men admitted to taking two sick days in the past month because of stress.
And work-induced stress is also driving twice as many men as women to hit the bottle with one in five men confessing to needing to drink after work most days.
While men and women seem to react to stress differently, it’s still a major problem for both sexes, with 31% of women and 24% of men saying they often feel stressed.
For women, dealing with difficult customers or clients is the most common trigger, whereas for male colleagues a heavy workload causes the most problems. Outside of the office, both men and women cite rudeness and bad manners as the most likely factors to get them worked up and angry.
But although men take more time off sick, women reported higher incidents of stress-related ill health. Headaches were the number one symptom, with 69% of women suffering compared with 45% of men while 57% of women and 40% of men reported problems sleeping.
Medicash chief executive Sue Weir said: “Small amounts of pressure at work can enhance our performance but, if that pressure becomes unremitting, it can seriously affect our health. Regularly feeling stressed can lead to sickness, long-term absenteeism and even a dependence on alcohol or drugs. Incorporating healthy eating and exercise into your daily routine and talking to someone about how you feel can help towards counteracting the effects of stress.
“Workplace stress can be damaging on any level, affecting both the employee and employer. Bosses have a duty of care and responsibility to look after their workforce and have systems in place to address stress at work. Encouraging a work-life balance, having open channels of communication between staff and managers, and providing access to counselling services are some of the things employers can do to combat stress.”
Top five work stress triggers for women
1. Dealing with difficult clients/customers
2. Heavy workload
3. Computer freezing in the middle of an important job
4. Boss demanding too much extra work
5. Computer taking too long to get going
Top five work stress triggers for men
1. Heavy workload
2. Boss demanding too much extra work
3. Dealing with difficult clients/customers
4. Computer freezing in the middle of an important job
5. Boss asking for work to be done that is outside job description
Source: David Woods – HR Magazine
13th August 2010