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Stress in the workplace costing UK businesses

As many as one in five employees (19.6 per cent) have taken time off work due to stress, with more than a quarter (28.8 per cent) saying they feel stressed at work all or most of the time.

According to a study by serviced office provider Business Environment, one fifth (21 per cent) of employees take work home at least one to two times a week with factors such as unrealistic deadlines, pressure from above and lack of support cited as the biggest culprits in causing stress.

The back-to-work blues make Monday the most stressful day of the week for more than a third of workers (36 per cent), while Thursday is voted the calmest day in the office.

The findings underline the negative effects stress can have in the workplace. One in twelve (almost 8 per cent) admit that they have shouted at a colleague as a result of stress, while 3 per cent have thrown something across the room and 2 per cent said they have sworn in front of a client or customer.

David Saul, managing director at Business Environment says that many companies have slipped into creating a culture where employees are expected to work all hours at any cost.

'This research clearly shows that this is actually having a detrimental effect, not only on employee health and wellbeing, but also on the wider business with billions being lost in days taken off sick.

'I believe all employers have a responsibility to challenge the status quo and cultivate an office environment where employees feel supported by senior staff and able to voice concerns before stress levels go through the roof. Of course, there will be times when employees are required to go above and beyond, but this should never be at the detriment to their health.'

The research also reveals that popular tactics used to de-stress at work include taking a short walk to get fresh air (43 per cent), calling friends or family (32 per cent) and having a rant in private (28 per cent). Nipping out for a cigarette or exercising are also popular responses.