Three out of four UK workers are losing sleep because of work-related stress, while just over than half have no strong sense of belonging to their organisation.
These are the depressing if unsurprising findings of several studies, which reveal the impact of the current challenging economic climate on the workforce. A survey undertaken among 6,000 people by budget hotel chain Travelodge, for example, found that three quarters were getting less sleep than the recommended eight hours per night.
Some 51% were kept awake worrying about mistakes they had made at work, while 28% suffered anxiety over having to deal with a difficult boss. Just under one in five were concerned about having to give an important presentation, while 18% were scared about missing a work deadline.
Civil servants were the most sleep deprived group, getting on average only five hours and 53 minutes sleep each night. Bankers came next with six hours and eight minutes, followed by factory workers with six hours and 20 minutes. The survey also found that a quarter of workers had an alcoholic drink on a work night to help them drift off.
Research among 350 UK employers by marketing software provider Infogroup’s ORC International unit, meanwhile, further illustrated the broad level of disengagement experienced by personnel. It indicated that only 49% felt a strong sense of belonging to their organisation last year, down 10% on 2008.
It also showed that just under a third felt no pride in working for their employer compared with 30% in 2008, while only 44% felt able to contribute their views before organisational change was made and were less confident about challenging the way things were currently done. This figure was down from 50% the previous year.
On the plus side, the study entitled ‘Putting it in Perspective’ indicated that 73% of respondents were satisfied with their jobs, up 2% on 2008, and three quarters said that they intended to stay put, up 4% on the previous year.
But Kate Pritchard, director of employee research at Infogroup’s ORC International division, warned: “Although we have seen an increase in employee satisfaction, this does not give us the whole picture in terms of employee engagement and does not necessarily imply a strong relationship with the organisation.”
Instead increased satisfaction could be an indicator that employees simply had lower expectations or were become more tolerant of tough economic conditions, she added.
Moreover, staff failure to feel a sense of belonging was likely linked to concerns over job security. Only 51% of staff felt that they were secure in their jobs last year compared with 59% in 2008, Pritchard said.