Work stress increases during a recession

Times of recession see work-related stress levels rise significantly. This is according to a study published in the journal Occupational Medicine, which found one-in-four employees suffer from such feelings when the economy endures a considerable downturn.

Investigators from the University of Nottingham and the University of Ulster also discovered stress of this type escalates by 40 per cent overall during such periods.

Dr Jonathan Houdmont of the University of Nottingham's Institute of Work, Health and Organisations stated: "Organisations which seek to reduce work-related stress during austere economic times are likely to experience lower staff absence and greater productivity."

The investigation also showed that absence among employees climbs 25 per cent during periods of recession, while the amount of time individuals stay away from the office also rises by more than one-third.

Dr Henry Goodall, President of the Society of Occupational Medicine, added job-related health provision therefore becomes increasingly important during times of economic uncertainty.

Chartered Psychologist Dr Kate Sparks commented: "Workplace stress can escalate during times of recession due to fear of job redundancies.

"Also as 'fear feeds off fear' so the atmosphere at work could be even more stressful due to any uncertainty about job security and the reduced prospects of finding other employment in a reduced job market.

"Team dynamics may also become more strained if some employees are aware that their own jobs may be at risk whilst their fellow work colleagues have job security.

"This would of course add to any stressful environment. All these factors may increase absence from the workplace as a means to reduce stress levels and avoid potential awkwardness/tension with other work colleagues."