More than four out of ten workers (44%) say that their work stress has increased as a result of the pandemic, according to EU-OSHA’s workers’ survey OSH Pulse – occupational safety and health in post-pandemic workplaces.
EU-OSHA published the survey findings to mark World Mental Health Day, on 10 October. They shine a light on mental and physical health stressors for workers and the occupational safety and health (OSH) measures implemented in their workplace.
Almost half of respondents (46%) said they are exposed to severe time pressure or work overload. Other factors causing stress include poor communication or cooperation within the organisation and a lack of control over work pace or work processes. A number of work-related health issues that are commonly associated with stress are reported by a quite large proportion of workers: 30% of respondents reported at least one health problem (overall fatigue, headaches, eyestrain, muscle problems or pain) caused or made worse by work.
However, talking about mental health is no longer taboo. According to 50% of workers, the pandemic has made it easier to talk about it at work. But, not all workers feel comfortable talking about how they feel. While 59% said they feel comfortable speaking to their manager or supervisor about their mental health, 50% worry that disclosing a mental health condition could have a negative impact on their career.
In terms of workplace initiatives and activities to prevent or reduce the risks, 42% said information and training on wellbeing and coping with stress are provided at their workplace. Access to counselling and psychosocial support (38%) and awareness raising and other activities to provide information on safety and health (59%) is also available.