Irish employees report increased stress over health, well-being

Mercer study shows stress is having an impact on productivity

As many as 82 per cent of employees in Ireland say they are facing increased personal stress due to concerns over their health and financial well- being, according to a new survey.

The study reveals 59 per cent of those surveyed expressed concern about their ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle while holding down work. Fifty- four per cent worried about being able to pay their bills and provide for family members if impacted by illness or death, while 51 per cent were concerned over the amount they were saving for retirement.

The survey of 502 people from across the country was conducted by Red C on behalf of Mercer between May 27th May and June 4th.

Mercer’s study shows high stress levels are impacting on work, with 64 per cent of those surveyed reporting reduced concentration levels and 59 per cent saying they were dissatisfied with their jobs. In addition, 44 per cent said stress and anxiety was leading to a decline in productivity.


The study also indicates that stress levels in Ireland are markedly higher than in the UK across a number of areas. A related study of 1,000 UK respondents showed 74 per cent of employees saying they faced increased personal stress, 8 per cent less than in Ireland. Employees in the UK also ranked lower in terms of particular concerns over their health and financial wellbeing.

“Irish employees are clearly suffering from the burden of increased stress and worry that is damaging their ability to concentrate and deliver the best results for their employer. Across all life stages and ages, employees’ personal worries about health and financial security are having a dramatic effect on how they operate at work. If employees are worried, distracted, not as healthy as they could be, then they are not as engaged as they could be either,” said Mercer partner Niall O’Callaghan.

The study found that men expressed higher concerns around the impact of stress than women and also reported experiencing lower motivation. However, more women said stress had an impact on their overall health than their male counterparts. Women were found to be more open to receiving advice on how to lead a healthier lifestyle than men.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist