4.3 million employees unhappy at work with work stress a significant contributor

According to research by Robert Half UK, more than one in 10 (13%) UK employees are unhappy at work, accounting for more than 4.3 million people in the UK.

  • 13% of UK employees report being unhappy at work – 4.3 million people nationwide
  • Over 15,000,000 days lost per year due to reported mental health problems caused or worsened by work
  • Robert Half is announcing a new partnership with Mind, the leading mental health charity to drive awareness and help people back into work

London, 23 May 2019 – The UK workforce is becoming increasingly held back by mental health problems such as stress, depression and anxiety. According to research1 by Robert Half UK, more than one in 10 (13%) UK employees are unhappy at work, accounting for more than 4.3 million people2 in the UK.
The UK has the highest rate of unhappiness in the workplace among the countries surveyed, including Canada, Australia, Germany and 4% higher than in the US. The research found that one in three (31%) UK respondents admitted to finding their work stressful, while one in 10 (12%) employees report being dissatisfied with their work–life balance.
This is having a significant impact on the UK’s labour force. The latest data from the Health and Safety Executive’s Labour Force Survey3 shows that over 15,000,000 days were lost over a 12-month period due to reported mental health problems caused or worsened by work, such as stress, depression or anxiety. 
This accounts for over half (57%) of total missed days due to self-reported illness4. Additionally, burnout caused by stress and anxiety is responsible for over two fifths (44%) of all reported illnesses in the workplace.
In response to the challenges presented by mental health issues in the workplace, Robert Half UK has announced a new partnership with Mind, the leading mental health charity in the UK, as their official charity for 2019. 
Robert Half’s offices around the UK will be supporting Mind through local and national fundraising initiatives and by raising awareness of mental wellbeing among its staff, clients and candidates.

Matt Weston, Managing Director, Robert Half UK commented: “We are proud to be partnering with Mind in our mission to build a culture where everyone can be happy at work. We hope that our efforts will be able to support the individuals in our communities and our fellow colleagues alike.
“It is crucial that businesses look at the ways in which they can help their employees and spot signs of burnout early. Building a positive work environment and recognising the connection between employee happiness and mental health, as well as nurturing good working relations within the company are vital to successfully reducing stress and burnout in the workplace.
“Companies must look at the ways in which they can make their employees feel more involved in their everyday work, while providing a support network that allows employees to voice their concerns regarding the nature and progress of their role.”

Rebecca Hastings, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Mind, said: “We are delighted Robert Half have chosen Mind as their Charity of the Year. The money raised during this partnership will help to fund Mind’s vital work including the Mind Infoline, our advice services and the campaigning Mind does to secure a better deal for the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year.”

– ENDS –

Notes to Editors

  1. This study was developed by Robert Half and Happiness Works and conducted by an independent research firm. The research is based on survey results of more than 23,000 working professionals who are currently employed on a full or part-time basis across eight countries with the results segmented by geographic location.
  2. Calculated figure based on ONS Labour Market Statistics 14 May 2019. 13% of 32,697,000 total UK employees = 4,250,610.
  3. http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/index.htm.
  4. http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/index.htm. 15,367,000 days lost to stress, depression or anxiety out of a total of 26,832,000 for all illness. Equivalent to 57%.
  5. http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/index.htm. 239,000 incidents of stress, depress or anxiety out of a total of 541,000 incidents for all illness. Equivalent to 44%.

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About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500 and #1 in our industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s “World's Most Admired Companies” list (2017). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and job seeker resources at roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.

About Mind:

Mind, the mental health charity, provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Mind campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. Their aim to ensure everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both support and respect. mind.org.uk
•    Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.
•    Mind has a confidential information and support line, Mind Infoline, available on 0300 123 3393 (lines open 9am - 6pm, Monday – Friday)