Work stress peaks in December according to new research

Few see Christmas as the most wonderful time of the year. In fact December is one of the most stressful months of the year as balancing work and family life plus the rush to take holidays before the year-end piles on the pressure according to new research.

Its research shows the biggest cause of stress in December is balancing work and home life, which was identified by 38 per cent, while colleagues taking holidays was cited by 32 per cent as a driver of stress.

With such high stress levels, letting their hair down at their Christmas party is not much consolation for many employees. 18 per cent do not have a Christmas celebration at work, and for those that do, around two in five choose not to go.  41 per cent of those who are not going say they prefer to keep their work and home life separate.

Tom Gaynor, Employee Benefits Director of MetLife UK, said: “Stress is a major issue at work and has a major impact on business performance.  Unfortunately it doesn’t go away at Christmas.

“It is a pity that many people want to opt out of Christmas celebrations at work but it is clear that juggling home life and year-end work pressures is tough for millions of employees.

“Employers – and particularly managers – can benefit from recognising the signs of workplace stress and taking early action to help employees cope, including a focus on physical and mental health at work.