United Kingdom

Staff have little time to alleviate work-related stress

October 2018

Nearly half of the UK’s employees don’t have a hobby or any sort of stress relieving activity, according to a recent survey by Obby, a learning provider that offers classes, courses and workshops on a variety of activities to Londoners.

The research, based on a sample of 1,000 employees, found that 47 per cent of workers in the UK do nothing to alleviate work-related stress.

According to Health Insurance, which reported on Obby’s research, 65 per cent of staff said they don’t indulge in stress relieving activity because they have little time outside of the workplace.

Those working in professional services struggled the most, at 58 per cent, to make time to relax and unwind, compared to 55 per cent of employees in the education sector and 53 per cent of those in healthcare arena, who also found it hard to find the time to relieve stress in the workplace.

Tom Batting, co-founder of Obby, warned that a lack of stress relief could lead to more stress or “burnout which can reduce productivity further”.

He said that employers needed to encourage some form of stress relieving activity or allow flexible working hours so that staff had time to attend a course or a class to relieve stress in the working day.

The study found that just 19 per cent of employers offered ways to alleviate stress in their benefits package to staff and 79 per cent of employees said they would take up any opportunity if bosses offered some form of de-stressing activity such as a physical activity, as suggested by 44 per cent of respondents.

Charles Alberts, Aon’s head of health management said: “This survey highlights one of the main barriers to people taking more care of themselves - a perceived lack of time. Working adults spend a significant amount of time in the workplace, so it makes sense to use this setting as a force for good.”

He added: “However, whilst the best anecdote to work-related stress is tackling the causes (such as excessive workload or strained relationships) in the first instance, we should recognise that there will be instances where pressure in the workplace leads to stress. In these instances, equipping employees with the skills to manage that stress (for instance, through resilience training) and giving them opportunities to decompress (for instance, facilitating exercise classes) can benefit both the employees themselves and the employer through increased engagement and productivity.”


Aon UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 00210725. Registered Office: The Aon Centre, The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, London EC3V 4AN.