Almost one in five Irish workers is under continual stress in their jobs, a study has shown.
New research by the Economic and Social Research Institute shows that job stress doubled over a five year period.
The study counted an employee as experiencing job stress if they said that they felt stressed at work “always” or “most of the time”.
Other factors included those who reported reactions such as general fatigue, anxiety and sleep disturbance.
The research, funded by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), identified that job stress was more common among people who had emotional demands placed on them as part of their jobs, people who worked under time pressures and people who were victims of bullying or harassment.
Unsurprisingly, people working more than 40 hours a week were twice as likely to experience job stress as those working 36 to 40 hours.
Helen Russell, one of the authors of the ESRI report, said:
“Job stress is becoming a more important issue in the Irish workplace as the economy becomes increasingly service-based.
“Employers need to manage these risks to prevent the significant individual and organisational costs of stress-related illness”
The report found that the jobs with the highest stress levels were in the health sector, at 18 per cent; public administration, at 16 per cent; and the manufacturing sector, at 15 per cent.
“Workers in the health sector experience high emotional and physical demands and higher-than-average exposure to bullying, harassment and/or violence and are more likely to feel inadequately rewarded for their work,” the report found.