Workers in Britain are feeling more pressured at work and less secure in their roles than at any time in the last 20 years. Biggest concerns seem to revolve around pay cuts and diminished control over job roles, according to a national survey of employees’ well-being.
In 2012 over 3,000 workers aged 20-60 were interviewed for the latest in a six-yearly Skills and Employment survey which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.
Findings from the survey revealed an increased feeling of insecurity and fear among both private and public sectors. More than half of those interviewed were concerned about loss of job status. Their biggest worry was over pay reductions, followed by loss of control over their job. On top of this, 31% of respondents said they were concerned about unfair treatment at work.
For the first time since 1997 those working in the public sector were more concerned about losing their jobs than those working in the private sector. The study has also shown that overall job stress has risen and job-related wellbeing has decreased since 2006. Respondents also reported working harder – in regards to both the speed of work and working to tight deadlines.
This increased work is thought to be due to technological change as opposed to the assumed job losses caused by recession. Researchers say that the employees who were feeling more content in the workplace were those who had a degree of decision-making in their role and company.
Prof Alan Felstead of the Cardiff School of Social Sciences has said:
“The slowness with which employers in Britain are enhancing employee participation is becoming an issue of considerable concern. In general, better job control entails increased employee involvement and participation. The intention should be to improve the balance between the benefits of hard work and the costs.”
If you are feeling stressed or anxious at work, talking to a counsellor could help you explore your feelings and develop ways of coping. For more information, please see our Work Related Stress page.
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