Friday 8 April 2016 4:26 pm

Employees lose a staggering amount of time due to stress - here's how much

Ever feel like stress, anxiety and bottomless to do lists stop you from doing your best at work?

It would appear you’re not alone. Vitality, the health insurers, and the University of Cambridge asked more than 32,000 employees about the impact work-related stress has on their ability to get work done in order to find out just how bad it really is.

The results, released today, show that three-quarters of employees suffer from work-related stress, and that about ten per cent of our time at work is effectively lost due to “high stress and a lack of physical activity”.

Read more: Don’t let stress dominate your work

Over the course of the year, the researchers estimated, that works out at a missing 23.5 days of productive time for each and every employee due to work-related stress.

Worryingly for bosses, the majority of this occurs while we are actually on the clock. While we take just over five days off a year to deal with work-related stress, time spent worrying about our mental health at desks eats up another 18 days.

Unsurprisingly, city boys and girls say they have it worse. They lose a full five working weeks (25 days) a year – second only to healthcare professionals who lose 27 days – worth of productivity.

Read more: City bosses urged to tackle stress among employees

Techie-types say stress worries them the least, but even they lost 19 days a year of productive time.

With everybody scratching their heads over the UK’s productivity puzzle, the time lost due to work-related stress was calculated as costing British firms £57bn a year.

“It is clear to see that day-to-day productivity loss centres on physical activity and stress levels … Reducing workplace stress and encouraging employees to stay physically active should help increase productivity levels,” said Shaun Subel, strategy director at VitalityHealth.