One in five brokers have contemplated leaving the industry due to stress
A quarter of UK brokers think the industry needs to “do more” to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.
And one in five brokers have contemplated leaving the industry due to stress.
These were the findings from Ecclesiastical’s recent survey of 250 UK brokers which claims to be a “first of its kind.”
The specialist insurer found that 78% of brokers felt stressed at work, this occurred at least once a week for a third of them
The overwhelm of heavy workloads, regulation, volume of paper work and pressure to hit targets were all cited as contributing to mental health issues.
It follows recent figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealing that 15.4 million working days were lost across the UK in 2017-2018 due to work related stress.
Many broker firms are taking action to promote better mental wellbeing, almost half (48%) said their workplace enabled flexible working
While 38% mentioned a supportive culture at work and a fifth report advice and guidance, employee support and counselling are available.
Ecclesiastical Insurance said it is “committed to changing the conversation around mental health,” it has recently rolled out mental health training for all mangers and introduced counselling support and wellness action plans.
Adrian Saunders, commercial director at Ecclesiastical, said: “One in four of us will be affected by mental ill health of some kind so it’s important that businesses create a culture where people are able to talk about it and feel comfortable seeking advice and guidance if they start suffering problems.
“There is some good progress being made but it’s a worrying statistic that one in five brokers has contemplated leaving the industry due to stress, and this figure is even higher for younger brokers, so clearly more has to be done.”
The two main causes of stress were heavy workload, the volume of paperwork and tight deadlines.
A fifth of brokers blame the pressure to hit targets, but this is a third for those employed by national broker firms.
Half of the brokers surveyed said they felt anxious at work, and one in five said that they have suffered depression related to work.
Compared to other areas of the financial services sector, the insurer highlighted that brokers are more likely to suffer from stress.
But those experiencing stress were more likely to turn to family members, friends or colleagues before discussing it with HR or their manager.
Saunders added that it was “encouraging” that the brokers which completed the survey felt able to talk about their issues.
The most common effects of stress are difficulty sleeping or relaxing and problems concentrating.
Some also admitted that stress also affected their lifestyle with many eating less healthily, doing less exercise and increasing their alcohol intake.
However younger brokers and those employed at national brokerages were more likely to suffer from stress and feel the effects.
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