Over half of trade workers do ‘little or nothing’ to manage stress

More than one in two workers in construction and plumbing are not doing anything to relieve stress outside of work – ironically often due to not having the time – according to new research.

A survey of 1,015 UK adults in employment carried out by Obby.co.uk revealed that workers in the trades such as construction and plumbing are amongst the worst in the UK at taking the time to relieve their stress, with 51% admitting they do ‘little or nothing’ to manage their stress levels.

Trade workers were only topped by those in professional services for example law and accountancy, education and healthcare – with 58%, 55% and 53% of staff in these sectors respectively doing nothing to relieve stress.

For the overwhelming majority of trade workers who claimed this was the case, it is a lack of free time that is the biggest obstacle (72%).

With the average Brit working a 40.2 hour week – and not including time spent thinking about work – not having the time to decompress from the daily grind could be damaging the nation’s workforce.

For one in three in this industry, money is the reason post-work stress relieving activities are not pursued.

As many as 48% of the UK workforce is guilty of not taking steps to manage their stress levels.

Of those who do regularly take measures to reduce work-based stress, it’s exercise and sport that top the poll of most popular stress-busting activities. 44% find relief from a physical outlet, while enjoying personal interests and hobbies came a close second (39%).

Meanwhile, 35% say they turn to spending time with friends and family to relax them.

Tom Batting, co-founder at Obby.co.uk, said: “It’s extremely worrying how many workers within the trades sectors, such as construction and plumbing, claim they do not prioritise getting the stress relief that is so important for maintaining their mental health. The irony is that this can actually become a vicious cycle – if we don’t make time for stress relief, this can lead to becoming more stressed or even burnout, both of which can reduce productivity further.

“It’s in the managers and bosses’ interests to ensure that employees actually do take measures to manage their stress levels – whether that’s communicating how important this, allowing them flexi-time so that they can attend whatever activity it is that they do to relieve stress, or even providing classes or workshops for their workforce.”

Tom continued: “As well as reducing stress, this can positively impact on employees’ focus, concentration and efficiency in the workplace. We see this time and again – employers who provide workers with healthy and stress-busting ‘perks’ like yoga, meditation or even arts and craft workshops reap the rewards in a more productive and satisfied workforce.”