Stress and Anxiety at Work: Personal or Cultural?



Publication date: 

13th May 2019

It's Mental Health Awareness Week and Acas has today published the results of a new poll on workplace stress and anxiety. 

Read the survey results

Here are some key findings:

·        60% of employees who have felt stressed or anxious in the last year attribute this to their workload

·        42% said it was due to how they are managed

·        35% said that balancing work and home life was responsible

The poll found the solutions named by the employees very much mirror the causes:

·        33% think that a reduced workload would help them feel less stressed

·        26% pointed to better flexible working opportunities

·        23%  said that more clarity around what is required would help

View the full report

What can be done
Reducing workloads and increasing flexible working may be easier said than done in some workplaces. So what's the answer, and whose responsibility is it to deliver?


·        less than 1 in 10 employees say that their organisation is ‘very good’ at preventing employees from feeling stressed and/or anxious about work

·        ​find out more about setting a mental health strategy and visibly committing to positive mental health at work


·        the large majority of employees believe that it is a manager’s role to recognise and address stress and anxiety, but less than half would talk to their own manager if they had a problem 

·        find out more about developing line management skills and confidence


·        many are taking time out to cope (eg having a cup of tea), or talking to someone, such as a colleague; but more than one in four ‘don’t do anything’ 

·        find out more about strategies for individuals to cope better

Acas mental health framework
The Acas framework has been designed to support and enable employers, employees and line managers to create a thriving, healthy and productive workplace.

We also have free guidance to help
Mental health in the workplace
Promoting positive mental health in the workplace
Managing anxiety in the workplace
Dealing with stress in the workplace
Free e-learning on mental health awareness for employers
Acas training available