How are hospitality workers dealing with stress in the workplace?

The  Staff Canteen

Cigarettes and alcohol are just two of the solutions that hospitality workers are using to deal with stress in the workplace according to a new survey.

With 64% of hospitality workers suffering from workplace stress,  a recent survey by The Change Group has revealed that eight out of ten hospitality workers are using alcohol and cigarettes to try and deal with stress in the workplace.

Whilst this is nothing new, the survey's findings demonstrate that stress remains high for hospitality workers, with eight out of 10 people reporting that they had experienced stress at work.

So, what’s causing the stress? There seems to be a myriad of factors that are contributing to stress which includes long and anti-social hours which has affected 45% of respondents. Stresses from the ‘kitchen culture’ was an issue for 18% surveyed as was dealing with demanding employers which accounted for 19%.

There is no doubt that hospitality can be a stressful business and that unless dealt with can lead to more serious health problems such as mental health issues. So how are hospitality workers relieving stress?

The report outlined that one in five workers cited smoking (23%) and alcohol (22%) as the main remedies for relieving stress in the workplace. On the other end of the scale, one in eight respondents (12%) said that they will take some form of exercise to help relieve stress.

Other workers are using other methods to try and destress which includes one in 50 workers (2%) claiming that they eat to ease their stress levels. One in 11 will try and get some extra sleep to try and reduce stress whilst one in seven (15%) will simply do nothing at all.

With so many hospitality employees feeling pressure at work, it is perhaps not a surprise to see that 36% of employees (more than one in three workers) have left their previous jobs to find a better work-life balance.

Craig Allen, founder and director of The Change Group who conducted the survey said:

“Hospitality can be a very rewarding industry that provides opportunities for being creative and entrepreneurial, but it is also very hard work, and the hours can be long and anti-social. Improving work-life balance is now one of the top three priorities for many of the top London-based restaurants and hospitality businesses that we recruit for.”

He continued:

“Employers are looking at how they can better structure rotas, flexibility and benefits to create the best environment for employees to thrive. But as an industry, we all need to work together to do more. We very much support Andrew Clarke’s recently launched Pilot Light initiative and Hospitality Action, which both raise awareness and support hospitality workers experiencing mental health issues.”

As part of industry-wide efforts to support a change in the working culture of hospitality businesses, The Change Group’s recently held an event that raised nearly £5,000 for Hospitality Action, a charity that offers vital assistance to those who work or have worked in UK hospitality and who find themselves in crisis.

Mark Lewis, chief executive of Hospitality Action, said:

“This new data shows once again that stress is part of everyday life in hospitality environments. While some people thrive on it, many do not, and it can lead to serious health issues which in turn impact on individuals’ lives at home and at work."

"The fact that so many people said that their antidote to stress is either cigarettes or alcohol and that so few workers are taking time to exercise, sleep and use mindfulness techniques, means that basic levels of education are still required."

"We are committed to supporting hospitality professionals, no matter what type of difficulty they face. At a corporate level, we urge employers to subscribe to our Employee Assistance Programme and ensure their workforce remains happy, healthy and work-ready.”

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 23rd August 2018

How are hospitality workers dealing with stress in the workplace?