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Employees reveal the top 10 most stressful tasks at work

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Asking over 1,500 people across the UK, a survey conducted by Sodexo Engage, the UK’s leading experts in employee engagement, has revealed which tasks at work employees find the most stressful. From presenting face to face, managing emails, to performance reviews; employees reveal that dealing with complaints is the most stressful work task. You can view the full data here.

In the last year, employees around the world have had to adapt to new ways of working because of the COVID-19 pandemic: it’s only natural for employees to feel the pressure. Whether that’s managing their daily tasks differently, or responding to challenges as part of their responsibilities; stress in the workplace, wherever that may be, is inevitable. 

If there’s an upcoming project looming or you’re dealing with a difficult client, it’s human nature to feel stressed when undertaking different tasks. In fact, 37.9% of people have admitted they’ve had sleepless nights over work-related stress, and this is why Sodexo Engage has surveyed employees to ask them directly which tasks at work people find most stressful and how employers can support them.

Table 1: The top 10 most stressful tasks at work

Rank Task % Most stressed by
1 Dealing with complaints 26.8%
2 Multitasking several projects with upcoming deadlines 21.1%
3 Back to back meetings throughout the day 18.7%
4 Performance reviews 17.6%
5 Talking on the phone to customers 17.4%
6 Presenting to people virtually or in person (internal or external) 17.1%
7 Managing emails 15.0%
8 Problem solving/Troubleshooting issues 15.0%
9 Working with large digital documents (excel, word, reports) 14.3%
10 1-1 meetings with your manager 14.0%

Dealing with complaints is revealed as the most stressful task at work

People cope with conflict differently, and the survey has revealed that dealing with complaints (26.8%) is the most stressful task. In second, employees find managing several projects with upcoming deadlines (21%) hard work on their mental health, along with having back to back meetings throughout the day (18.7%), taking up most of their time while managing their usual workload.

Across each employment sector, employees working in Arts & Culture found dealing with complaints the least stressful task, with only 12.9% seeing this as a cause for concern whereas multitasking with several deadlines came in top (18.5%). This also rings true for professionals within Architecture, Engineering & Building (34.3%) and Education (22.1%). 

Dealing with complaints is also a widespread cause of stress for various industry professionals including Healthcare (28.1%), IT & Telecoms (25.5%) , Manufacturing & Utilities (28.7%) , Retail, Catering & Leisure (37.8%) and Travel & Transport (35.3%). 

Industry Sector  Task  % Most stressed by
Architecture, Engineering
& Building
Multitasking several projects with upcoming deadlines 34.3%
Arts & Culture Multitasking several projects with upcoming deadlines 18.5%
Education Multitasking several projects with upcoming deadlines 22.1%
Finance Back to back meetings throughout the day 25.7%
Healthcare Dealing with complaints 28.1%
IT & Telecoms Dealing with complaints 25.5%
Manufacturing & Utilities Dealing with complaints 28.7%
Retail, Catering & Leisure Dealing with complaints 37.8%
Travel & Transport Dealing with complaints 35.3%

The number of self-reported cases of stress caused or made worse by work

According to data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), on average per 100,000 employees, 5,110 men and women aged 25-35 have self-reported cases of work-related stress. In fact, some employees even admitted reaching breaking point, with work becoming too overwhelming, 39.8% of employees left their job due to working in a stressful environment.

Employees are still too embarrassed to take time off due to stress

Due to the pandemic, many people have faced new challenges some would never have expected to happen. From juggling work-life balance to running a business while budgets are tight, according to Mind, more people have experienced a mental health crisis during the pandemic than ever previously recorded. And yet, 44.6% of survey respondents stated they would feel embarrassed to take time off work because of stress.

Commenting on the research, Graham James, Director of Commercial Development at Sodexo Engage says: 

“What’s interesting is that the most stressful tasks revealed are a day-to-day part of a person’s role, making them unavoidable in most circumstances. Employees will naturally feel stressed as the pressure amounts, however, if an employer has a strong support network in place, such as employee assistance programs (EAPs), providing their team the skills and reassurance they need to complete these tasks goes a long way in reducing stress, knowing their manager is there to support them in difficult situations.”

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Source: http://hrnews.co.uk/employees-reveal-the-top-10-most-stressful-tasks-at-work/

HRTech

Barclays closes some branches in the UK

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June 25 will be the last day for the Barclays Bank branch at 32 Market Place, Warminster, in Britain. Another branch that will be shuttered in the country is the one at Sibson Road, Birstall, in Leicester. The reason is that more and more people are moving to online banking, reducing the need to maintain physical branches. There has been a significant drop in over-the-counter transactions in the past few years, prompting these closures.

However, town councillors in Warminster are not happy with the closure as they feel that the elderly population will be adversely affected, and that they still believe in and are most comfortable with cash transactions. With these closures, they may even be forced to travel long distances to use another branch of the Bank. These closures, some feel, will entail more travel, increased inconvenience, and more time, for the elderly, in addition to more expenses in terms of fuel for their cars or cost of availing public transport.

The Bank, however, maintains that its other branches are open and will continue to offer services. It points out that customers can also use the over-the-counter banking services at post offices in Warminster and other locations. It reveals that only about 128 customers use its Warminster branch exclusively for their banking needs, while a good 84 per cent use the online mode or the telephone for their banking services. In fact, in the past five years, there has been a 10 per cent increase in the number of customers using alternative modes of banking instead of physically visiting the bank. Barclays also defends the closure by stating that in the past one year, 25 per cent of its customers have been using other branches close by.

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Source: https://www.hrkatha.com/news/global-hr-news/barclays-closes-some-branches-in-the-uk/

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HRTech

Nestle Unit to hire 665 in Atlanta

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Nestle’s recently-acquired meal-delivery service is launching a second distribution centre in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, in the US. The new centre, which cost a whopping $52 million, is now looking for at least 600 workers.

The service, called Freshly, delivers pre-cooked meals that can be reheated and consumed by customers. Just four months ago, Freshly, had launched a centre in Austell, Georgia, with the capability to employ 250 people.

Since Freshly’s acquisition by Swiss food company, Nestle, in 2020, it has been expanding at a fast pace. The financial support from Nestle has helped it grow and witness a surge in demand too. Next year, it plans to start hiring workers in the areas of maintenance, warehousing and operations at a facility in Ellenwood.

Freshly will also be eligible for a state income tax credit, which will allow it to deduct $4,000 per job from Georgia’s income taxes for a period of five years, that is, about $13.3 million. If Freshly does not incur that much state income-tax liability, it can take much of the money from personal income taxes paid by employees. For Freshly to become eligible, its workers will have to earn a minimum of $28,000 a year.

While Georgia will provide financial aid for training workers, Clayton County could offer subsidies in property taxes. Freshly can also become eligible for other benefits, including sales tax breaks on equipment.

Switzerland happens to be the one of the largest foreign investors in the US. Companies owned by the Swiss account for over half a million jobs across the US.

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Source: https://www.hrkatha.com/news/global-hr-news/nestle-unit-to-hire-665-in-atlanta/

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HRTech

HFDC Bank to hire 500 techies

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HDFC Bank, which has been struggling with frequent tech snags for a couple of years now, is now gearing up to do something about it. It plans to take on 500 people over a period of two years, to enhance its information technology infrastructure. It is looking for talent in the areas of data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, design thinking, cloud and DevOps.

The tech outages had caused the Reserve Bank of India to prohibit HDFC from sale of new credit cards. The Bank had also been told to stop launching any new digital products.

Currently, the workforce strength of the Bank is about 1.2 lakh. It is now planning to establish digital and enterprise ‘factories’ for launching new digital products and services. The improvement of its IT infrastructure is also a part of this technology augmentation and transformation plan.

The move is expected to make the Bank’s services more reliable, secure, scalable and accessible. The objective is also to improve the legacy infrastructure with advanced tech, decouple the current systems and become more competent.

The Bank has reportedly been discussing with the RBI about lifting the ban that has been imposed on it and resuming the offer of new digital products and credit cards. The Bank will be working on addressing the issues that resulted in outages and come up with meaningful solutions.

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Source: https://www.hrkatha.com/hiring-firing/hfdc-bank-to-hire-500-techies/

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HRTech

Government staff in Ujjain need to get inoculated to receive salary

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To ensure that the district is fully vaccinated, Ashish Singh, district collector of Ujjain, has issued an order stating that all government employees will get their salaries only if they produce their vaccination certificate.

The order, which was issued on June 22, says the salary for the month of July will be disbursed only if government staff manage to get themselves inoculated by July 31.

The order is part of Ujjain’s efforts to achieve 100 per cent vaccination. The treasury officer of Ujjain has been instructed to collect vaccination certificates along with salary disbursement for June, and compile data on the status of inoculation of government staff in the district.

Various departments were ordered to collect and submit data even about the vaccination status of daily wagers and contract staff.

It is reported that the data had revealed that the government employees in the district who had lost their lives to COVID-19 were the ones who were not inoculated.

In Assam too the state government had decided to not release the June salaries for its employees till it took a stock of the vaccination status. The state government discovered that many front-line staff, including those on the rolls and those working on contract, were still not inoculated. Although the positivity rate in the state has dropped, the administration feels it is important to take necessary measures to contain the virus.

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Source: https://www.hrkatha.com/news/government-staff-in-ujjain-need-to-get-inoculated-to-receive-salary/

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