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UK – Nearly a third of stressed workers think a 4-day work week would offer the most relief

15 April 2019

Nearly a third, or 30%, of stressed UK employees think introducing a 4-day work week would be the best way to tackle their stress, according to new research by management consultancy Lane4.

The research, ‘2019 Resilience Tracker’, surveyed 2,005 UK employees about workplace stress, business resources and coping mechanisms. It found, through YouGov, that over a third (34%) feel more stressed now than they did two years ago.

Over half say this rise in stress levels is due to a higher workload (66%). With 30% putting it down to changing relationships in the workplace, and 27% because of a lack of control over their work.

When asked what would most relieve their stress at work, nearly a third (30%) said a 4-day work week was the most popular option. This is followed by more support from their manager (25%), changes to their role (i.e. less responsibility) (13%), training on managing stress (6%), regular exercise (5%) and not receiving emails outside of working hours (5%).

The research also found that 29% of employees struggle to know how to relieve their stress, and one in five (20%) don’t know how to challenge negative thinking when they become stressed.

Adrian Moorhouse, Managing Director, Lane4 commented: “While a four-day working week may seem appealing to some, there’s a risk that it would lead to employees working flat out for those four days, which is not a healthy or sustainable approach to managing a work-life balance. In fact, it could leave people feeling more stressed.”

“Organisations should focus on creating a workplace where stress doesn’t become excessive, and where employees can use it to their advantage,” Moorhouse said. “The best approach to helping employees be resilient will be different for every company. However, organisations with resilient workforces do have things in common such as a culture where high levels of pressure are matched with high levels of support, managers who are skilled at providing that balance and easy access to relevant resources for all employees.” 

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