Eight in ten UK workers reveal they’ve felt stressed at work

Published 14th May 2018 by Marketing Department


  • 80% of UK workers say that they’ve felt stress at work
  • More than half of employees (54%) admit to experiencing work-related stress whilst at home
  • Just 10% of workers felt strongly that they would trust their manager with a mental health concern

80% of UK workers say that they’ve felt stress at work, with 59% saying that their mental health has been negatively impacted by their work, according to the findings of Investors in People’s first ever   Managing Mental Health report. The research, conducted in early April, sets out how stress and workplace anxiety are impacting workers of all regions, sectors, ages and genders.

Investors in People also sought out employee attitudes on how line management and workplace culture contribute to stress awareness and management in the office. Just 36% of those surveyed said that their workplace supports their mental wellbeing, while 34% agreed that their office had a culture of openness around mental health. This means that in both instances, the majority of UK workers don’t feel that there is support in place, should they have a mental health concern.

Of those who responded to the poll, there were clear gendered trends in the way that men and women interact with their mental health while at work. 83% of women say that they’ve felt stressed at work, compared to 74% of men. This trend toward women feeling more stressed than men is compounded by the fact that 57% of women say they’ve felt work-related stress while at home, compared to less than half (49%) of men.

Not only does the Managing Mental Health report suggest that stress frequency is higher among women, it also reveals that women are more likely than men to feel like they could discuss their mental health, with 59% saying they’d discuss a concern with a colleague, while just 46% of men would feel comfortable doing the same.

Investors in People also sought to identify the extent to which mental health support would be a priority for an employee, over and above other employee benefits like a 3% pay rise.

  • 20% of workers would rather have workplace support for their mental health than a 3% pay rise
  • 25% would rather have a trustworthy manager than a 3% pay rise
  • 27%  would rather have a comprehensive healthcare package than a 3% pay rise


Investors in People CEO, Paul Devoy: “Increasing credence is being paid to the impact of work-related stress and mental wellbeing on UK workplaces, and rightly so. Recent statistics suggest that the loss of productivity stemming from poor mental health (presenteeism, absenteeism, lack of focus etc) could be costing our economy as much as £99 billion a year. This figure, coupled with IIP’s core finding that 80% of British workers admit to feeling stress at work, prove the strength of correlation between mental health and productivity.

Paul continued, “These same workers were most likely to agree that their workplace could better support their mental health by providing line managers with more training focussed on mental health. If employers were to heed these insights, they could reap the dual reward of happier employees and a more prosperous business.”


Notes to editors:

A poll of 1000 men and 1000 women full time workers in the UK was launched in March 2018. Data was captured via an online survey carried out by research organisation One Poll. This data was then used to inform the findings presented in IIP’s ‘Managing Mental Health in the Workplace 2018’ poll.


About Investors in People

Investors in People is the Standard for people management. The international Standard defines what it takes to lead, support and manage people well for sustainable results.

Investors in People works with thousands of top businesses across the country, from Allianz Insurance, McDonald’s restaurants, to Brompton Bikes. With a community of thousands of organisations across 58 countries, successful accreditation against the Standard is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to sustained success.


Based on a tried and tested framework and a rigorous process of assessment, organisations that meet the Investors in People Standard proudly display their accreditation to the world because they understand that it’s people that make the difference.


Download the full Managing Mental Health report here:


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