Thursday 18 January 2018

Stress and poor sleep – the hidden cost of recession for managers here

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

HALF of senior managers and small business owners have seen their personal lives deteriorate due to the recession, according to new research.

The results show that the financial crisis is still having a highly negative effect on businesspeople's private lives six years after the crisis began.

The business barometer, from corporate finance operation Close Brothers, found that bosses and business owners in Leinster felt the most affected.

Stress, difficulty sleeping and a failure to achieve a work-life balance were cited as the biggest concerns. One-third said they were experiencing more stress while one-fifth have seen their work-life balance deteriorate.

Some 16pc were unable to sleep well because of work. Scientists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology recently warned that trouble sleeping can triple the risk of heart failure. "Despite recent signs of economic growth, our findings suggest that the difficulties of the last few years are really taking their toll for bosses on a personal level" said Close Brothers director Harry Parkinson.

The study is the latest to confirm just how deeply the recession has interfered with our private lives. Health insurer Aviva recently found that almost two-thirds of employees work longer hours than they are paid for at least once a week, while almost half regularly work late twice a week or more.

Other research found that twice as many Irish legal professionals were now seeking help for work-related stress issues than their counterparts in the UK.

"I have seen a clear jump in the number of clients coming to me with stress and mental illness issues arising from work," said Dublin-based psychoanalyst Marie Walshe. "We can treat these conditions but at the same time must do so in the knowledge that there are very real reasons underneath them."

"Aside from the obvious stressors associated with tighter finances, there is a whole pressurised culture that has emerged that has made work all-pervasive. Out of fear of unemployment, people feel they must just submit to whatever their job or employer demands of them – this is crazy" she added.

"The way in which people cope with the demands of their job have also changed.

"Irish people used to be great at self-medicating – a bottle of wine on a Friday night – but this behaviour has really escalated. Coupled with this is the fact that people don't have the money any more to go out once a week and enjoy themselves and shine. This was previously their one saving grace for people with stressful jobs."

Irish Independent

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