HeadLine: SCOTS WORKERS’ STRESS EPIDEMIC
Daily Record, 24/02/2000, p29
by SHAUN MILNE
BOSSES in Scotland are Britain’s biggest bullies, according to new
Workplace stress is at epidemic levels north of the border, with 54 per
cent of all Scots surveyed saying they suffer from it.
That compares to 37 per cent in the UK as a whole.
Managers who make their staff’s lives miserable complain that they are
stressed out in turn by their own demanding superiors.
Experts blame long hours, job cuts and new technology for the rise of
bullying and stress. Psychologist David Lewis said: “Many organisations
have a long-hours culture, with less job security and more overload.
“This comes from increasing business demands coupled with fewer staff,
and also from technological overloads like e-mail and mobile phones.”
Sixty-four per cent of Scots said overwork was the main cause of their
A third said they were stressed out by their colleagues’ behaviour, and
28 per cent blamed problems with those working under them.
The survey also revealed 30 per cent of Scots live in fear of
redundancy. That’s four per cent higher than the UK average.
Thirty-two per cent of workers here said they would like stress
But the favourite ways of coping were drinking after work, shopping,
exercise and talking to family and friends.
Three-quarters of managers surveyed said stress affected their
performance, health and home lives. They blamed strict deadlines,
constant interruptions, lack of support, incompetent superiors and poor
Fifty-five per cent said their sex drive had suffered. But in today’s
macho culture, few admitted they could not cope with the same stress
they inflict on staff.
Bosses’ body the CBI estimates stress cost Britain pounds 12billion
One Glasgow business leader claimed stress figures here are only higher
because Scots are quicker to complain.
Douglas Millar, deputy chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce,
said: “The difference may be due to the fact that Scots are more ready
to express their feelings.
“It is easy for workers to blame their bosses. But on occasions, stress
is self-inflicted by employees trying to cram too much into their
He added: “I don’t think stress is a bigger problem in Scotland than
the rest of the UK. But it is a problem, and one which employers must
The Scots figures come from a Quality at Work survey for catering and
business support company Sodexho. Bosses across the UK were surveyed by
the Institute of Management.
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