Credit Crunch Worries Cause Staff Sleepless Nights

Employers have been advised to help staff manage stress in the wake of research from hotel group Travelodge revealing that three–quarters of employees are losing sleep because of concerns about the credit crunch.

Failure to support employees whose stress levels are rising is likely to lead to reduced productivity and higher levels of sickness absence, according to the director of the Stress Management Society, Neil Shah.

Commenting on a the Travelodge survey, which revealed that estate agents are getting less than six hours sleep a night due to concerns about falling high prices, Shah said:

“Obviously the credit crunch is putting pressure on individuals, and there has been an increase in stress over the past few months. People are concerned that their jobs may become redundant, as well as being fearful of their own financial situation.

“Stress can have a massive effect on a business’s productivity, as people might be off sick due to stress, and those that soldier on are still working far below their usual productivity,” he added.

“In these difficult economic times, employers need to look not just at how they can tighten their belts, but how they can support their workforce to ensure they are giving them maximum output,” said Shah.

The Travelodge research revealed that staff in the building trade, accountancy firms, the IT industry and engineering firms are also losing significant amounts of sleep due to concerns about their financial security.

“It’s no surprise that in the industries worst hit by the credit crunch are where employees are losing most sleep,” said Travelodge director of sleep, Leigh McCarron. “Money worries and job security are key drivers of stress, which in turn leads to significant sleep loss.”

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development employee relations adviser, Ben Wilmott, added:

“Employers that invest in training and developing their managers to ensure they exhibit the behaviour that manages stress at work will reap benefits in terms of reduced conflict and staff turnover, as well as increased motivation and commitment.”

  • For information on how to reduce staff stress levels, download the free guide published by the International Stress Management Association and supported by the Health and Safety Executive
  • For more information on stress management visit the Health, safety, premises section of the Business Link website

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