Unhappy workers face emotional burn-out

Last updated at 08:43 18 November 2005

Workers who are unhappy in their jobs are more likely to experience emotional burnout, have reduced self-esteem and suffer from anxiety, according to new research.

A study of 250,000 employees found that job satisfaction influenced mental health in particular.

The report carried out by Lancaster University and Manchester Business School, warned that even a modest drop in job satisfaction could lead to burnout of "considerable clinical importance."

Depression and anxiety were now the most common reasons for people starting to claim long-term sickness benefits, overtaking illnesses such as back pain, said the report.

Professor Cary Cooper, of Lancaster University Management School, said: "Employers should seriously look at tackling the consequences of job dissatisfaction and related health problems with innovative policies.

"This would be a wise investment given the potential substantial economic and psychological costs of unhappy or dissatisfied workers.

"Workers who are satisfied by their jobs are more likely to be healthier as well as happier.

"New working practices and technological advances are rapidly changing the way we work. Many jobs are becoming more automated and inflexible.

"Organisations are reducing their permanent workforce and converting to 'outsourcing', which is increasing feelings of job insecurity.

"These trends have contributed to a 'workaholic' culture throughout the UK and Europe - a climate that is impacting negatively in the levels of enjoyment and satisfaction employees gain from their work."