Stress peaks at 10am on Tuesday

Half of British employees say mid-morning on Tuesdays is their 'stress peak'. So it can only get easier from here...

by Dave Waller
Last Updated: 25 Jan 2011
According to a survey of 3,000 people carried out by recruitment agency Michael Page, it’s at mid-morning on a Tuesday that the average workload becomes ‘too much’, with a combination of deadlines and paperwork sending people crumbling under the pressure.

The study quizzed office workers aged between 18 and 45 on their level of stress throughout a typical working week. A quarter regularly feel stressed at work, and three quarters regularly come to the end of their tether by 11.16am each day. Not too stressed to take curiously accurate time readings though, it seems.

A staggering one in five workers apparently find everything too much even before nine o'clock. Even in such a tumultuous time of tightened purse-strings, when the pressure’s bound to rise a few pascals, this suggests people may need to make some serious changes to how they function.

But the survey also looked into people’s working habits, and the findings suggest these necessary changes may not be so hard to make. The majority of workers said they cruise through Monday warming their brain up, catching up with gossip from the weekend and chatting about the telly. Reality only kicks in on Tuesday, which they spend going through emails they ignored on Monday before planning the week ahead. Is it us, or is the solution simply staring them in the face?

Four in ten blamed heavy workloads for their tension, a third said the problem was difficult clients, and three in ten said it was down to their boss. But if 20% of the week is wiped out doing nothing, surely it can’t be a massive surprise if you soon find yourself smashing your monitor to pieces with a stress-ball. Or, for that matter, that the economy should be contracting.

A spokesman from Michael Page had a different take, saying it was ‘encouraging’ that people are taking steps to improve their working lives, with people ‘making it a New Year's resolution to get out of their current job’. Is the stress issue really going to be solved by everyone jacking their job in? Hang on, it’s a recruitment consultancy talking. For them, at least, it would.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Reopening: Your duty is not to the economy, it’s to your staff

Managers are on shaky ground if they think they can decide for people what constitutes...

How COVID changes the world forever: A thought experiment

Silicon Valley ‘oracle’ Tim O’Reilly imagines how different sectors could emerge from the pandemic.

The CEO's guide to switching off

Too much hard work is counterproductive. Here four leaders share how they ease the pressure....

What Lego robots can teach us about motivating teams

People crave meaningful work, yet managers can so easily make it all seem futile.

What went wrong at Debenhams?

There are lessons in the high street store's sorry story.

How to find the right mentor or executive coach

One minute briefing: McDonald’s UK CEO Paul Pomroy.