Is stressful office culture having a serious impact on mental health?

New figures have indicated that there has been an increase of more than a quarter in hospital admissions for stress and anxiety in the last decade, due to the rise of a working culture that never ‘switches off’.

In 2017/18 NHS data shows that there were almost 15,000 cases where patients were admitted to hospital for mental health conditions, compared to 11,500 in 2007/8.

The Office of National Statistics conducted separate research which revealed there was a 34 per cent increase in work-related cases of stress and anxiety over the same period, with almost 600,000 cases in 2017/18.

Last year, problems related to stress and anxiety made up 44 per cent of all work-related illnesses, up from 35 per cent a decade ago.

Additionally, over the last decade figures have shown a 37 per cent increase in cases of stress and anxiety among professionals.

The British company, Mahabis, has a positive work ethos that promotes a healthy work-life balance. They operate a 4-day working week and encourage flexible working hours to allow staff to work in whatever way is most convenient for them.

The founder of the company wants to launch a new movement, highlighting the benefits for individuals, businesses and society if individuals are able to ‘switch off’.

Mahabis Founder, Ankur Shah said: “Stress and anxiety is now a problem that we – as individuals and as a country – can’t afford to ignore.

“Increasingly, people are feeling that they can’t cope with the stresses of modern life, but at the same time, they don’t feel they have permission to switch off.

“That’s why today we are launching the ‘Downtime Movement’ – encouraging people to recognise the importance of switching off and taking time for themselves. We strongly believe that the benefits will not only be felt by individuals, but by businesses and society as a whole too.”

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