News - Construction News

Stress sees 2.1M construction workers on sick

New research has revealed that eight out of ten (81%) construction workers in the UK have taken sick leave due to stress, while over half (53%) have left a job before because it was too stressful.

The findings, conducted by NESCAFÉ as part of the ‘Make Chat Work’ campaign, come amidst recent concerns around mental wellbeing in the construction industry – with a report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Issues Affecting Men and Boys recommending more stringent mental health provisions should be written into construction contracts.

The ‘Make Chat Work’ data also reveals that although stress levels are high, encouragingly nearly three quarters (74%) of construction workers said they talk to colleagues about problems at work. In fact, a whopping 96% said that talking to colleagues helps relieve day to day pressures at work and nearly every single respondent (99%) said that getting together for a coffee break is important for team morale.

Nadia Roberts, Brand Manager at NESCAFÉ at Nestlé Professional, said: “Workplace wellbeing is a fundamental part of a business operation. Looking after your staff, and putting measures in place that weave employee wellbeing into the fabric of your business, will result in not only a far happier workforce but also a more thriving business.

“For small businesses, with fewer team members, staff sickness and absence is a lot more noticeable and can have a significant impact on the workflow, results and operational ability.

“It’s promising to see that the vast majority of construction workers find talking to their colleagues helpful in relieving work pressures and the positive impact this has on team morale. Encouraging their teams to take breaks throughout the day, have a breather and connect and talk with their colleagues – whether that’s through a dedicated breakout area, specified break times or just a kettle, mugs and tin of coffee somewhere dry – is an easy and low-cost way for employers to help promote better workplace wellbeing.”

Bill Hill, CEO at the Lighthouse Club charity, which provides financial and emotional support to the construction community and their families, said: “Poor mental health doesn’t discriminate; it can affect anyone whether you’re a business owner, manager or starting out in your career. People may face different stresses within the workplace, but the outcome is the same – it can take its toll and result in serious mental health issues. Stress, anxiety and depression accounts for a fifth of all work-related illnesses and every single working day in the UK, two construction workers take their own life.

“Our message is clear – there is help out there. No one is alone in this. We welcome campaigns like Make Chat Work that ignite conversation around workplace wellbeing. It’s so important for people in this industry to know they can talk and discuss their wellbeing with others.”

The Make Chat Work campaign sees NESCAFÉ partner with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which represents 160,000 small business owners in the UK, as well as construction industry bodies the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and the Construction Industry Council (CIC), to deliver insights, webinars, information and assets to help small businesses improve workplace wellbeing.

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