Workplace stress will rise over the next five years according to eight out of ten workers across Europe, a major new survey has revealed.
The survey of 35,000 people in 36 European countries found that 80 per cent of people believed that job-related stress would increase, while 52 per cent said it would increase “a lot”.
Results from the Ipsos Mori survey, conducted on behalf of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), also showed that 86 per cent agree that good occupational safety and health practices are necessary for a country to remain economically competitive.
These latest findings support earlier research from EU-OSHA’s survey on new and emerging workplace risks (ESENER). This showed that 79 per cent of managers think stress is an issue in their companies, making stress at work as important as workplace accidents for companies, the agency said.
“The financial crisis and the changing world of work is making increased demands on workers, therefore it is unsurprising that work-related stress is at the forefront of people’s minds,” said Dr Christa Sedlatschek, director of EU-OSHA.
“Regardless of age, gender and organisation size an overwhelming majority of people believe that work-related stress will rise. Nonetheless there are interesting national variations in those who expect job-related stress to ‘increase a lot’, with Norwegians least worried (16 per cent), for instance, and Greeks most worried about rising stress (83 per cent ‘increase a lot’).”
Interestingly, the Ipsos Mori poll found widespread agreement (87 per cent) that good occupational health is important to help people work for longer before they retire. This is particularly important as workforces across Europe are growing older.
The typical pensionable age in Europe is 65 years old but the average age people left work in 2009 was about 61.5 years, according to Eurostat.
A Eurobarometer survey found that four in ten people believe that they will be capable of doing the work they are currently doing until the age of 65 or beyond, while 17 per cent expect that they will not be able to carry on in their current role past the age of 59.
The challenges of managing a healthy ageing workforce were highlighted by the CIPD earlier this month in a newly published guide for UK employers.
The institute has warned employers to revisit their workforce planning strategies as a matter of urgency or risk losing their competitive edge.
UK government figures show that an estimated 13.5 million jobs will be created over the next 10 years.
But only 7 million young people will be available to fill these roles creating a yawning talent gap that can only be filled with older workers.