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AXA research reveals most stressed industries

AXA research reveals most stressed industries | Insurance Business

AXA research reveals most stressed industries

Mirror, mirror on the wall… who is the most stressed of them all?

If you have clients in accounting/financial services or in cleaning/domestic services then chances are they’re feeling more than a little under the cosh with AXA’s new 2018 Stress Index revealing that 87% of workers in both sectors feel stressed at least some time during a typical week. Indeed 12% of those in cleaning/domestic services and 7% in accounting and financial services go as far as to say they feel stressed all the time.

At the opposite end of the scale, employees in training and education are the least stressed in the UK – indeed 29% of staff in this area never or rarely feel stressed.

“This research shows that Britain’s workers are struggling to manage their levels of stress. Even in the least stressed sectors – such as training and education and manufacturing – the vast majority of staff are stressed at least some of the time during a typical week,” said Eugene Farrell, mental health lead at AXA PPP Healthcare.

“And, although people are worried about their pay, their job prospects and work life balance, factors such as Brexit and the growing threat of artificial intelligence and robots to their livelihoods are also causing sleepless nights.”

The study revealed that splitting time between home and work is a significant concern, with 65% complaining of being contacted outside of working hours, while 64% were worried about their work-life balance. Meanwhile, just under half admitted to being concerned about their salary prospects while 36% pointed to feeling stressed about the possibility of redundancy.

Table: The UK’s most and least stressed sectors

Most stressed sectors (percentage of staff stressed at least some of the time)


Least stressed sectors (percentage of staff never or rarely stressed)


Accounting and financial services


Training and education


Cleaning and domestic services




Building and construction






IT, telecoms, electronics


Creative, design and entertainment


Business services and consulting






Transport, freight and haulage




There is some hope, however.

“What is promising is that many respondents are turning to healthy ways to manage stress by taking time to exercise, which is a much better option than comfort eating, drinking or smoking,” said Farrell.

“Stress can cause feelings of anxiousness, restlessness and can make people feel isolated, so it is important that anyone struggling to cope seeks help – for example, from their GP or from the helplines provided by mental health charities such as Mind, Rethink Mental Illness and the Samaritans,” he added. “Those whose employer provides access to an employee assistance programme can speak in confidence to a qualified counsellor or therapist too.”