More than one in three UK employees say they are working with anxiety, depression or stress, according to research.

The study by consultancy PwC has suggested that 34% of the UK workforce may have a health and wellbeing issue, with the most common being anxiety, depression and stress.

The survey of 2,000 workers across the UK, from junior level through to managing directors, found nearly a quarter (23%) felt their organisation did not take employee wellbeing seriously, and 54% said they worked for companies that did not offer health benefits such as counselling, health screening and subsidised gym memberships.

2 in 5 have taken time off due to health

Two in five (39%) of those polled said they had taken time off work or reduced their responsibilities because of their health. Of those, 39% did not feel comfortable telling their employer about the issue.

Health and wellbeing also had a significant impact on performance, with 83% of workers believing their wellbeing influenced how productive they were. Pressures such as dealing with customers and clients and long hours had the biggest impact on workplace wellbeing.

Jo Salter, director in PwC’s people and organisations business, said: “It’s becoming increasingly important for organisations to provide employees with support for their emotional and physical health at work. Healthier and happier staff perform better, stay in their business longer and reduce costs and risks for organisations. Understanding and addressing the root causes of employee wellbeing is the first step to resolving the underlying issues.”

Long hours are a concern

Similar studies show there may be niche specific concerns, for example, Chess Cybersecurity’s report – How Stressed is IT? – revealed that almost six in 10 (59%) stressed-out IT employees regularly worked more than 45 hours a week – well over the 37.1 hours the Office for National Statistics states is the UK average working week.

Among the 1,025 IT staff surveyed, only 56% of those who believed they were stressed said they had a good work-life balance, which suggested might be because of working longer hours than those in other industries.

A quarter (26%) of stressed-out IT workers wished they had chosen a different career, compared to only 11% of staff who were not stressed.

Looking at the potential reasons behind the sector’s stress epidemic, only 41% of stressed employees agreed they had adequate resources to do their job well.

The report said: “IT is a critical department for many organisations, big and small, and having stressed-out IT workers responsible for delivering fast, reliable and safe systems, which the entire company is heavily reliant upon, is worrying.