What is the cost to the employer of work related stress?

Stress is now the leading cause of long-term sickness absence in the workplace. 40% of employers have seen stress-related absence increase over the last year1 resulting in:

  • 22% of employees describing their jobs as either “very” or “extremely” stressful2
  • Loss of £600 per employee per year.3
  • An average of 24 working days for each stress related absence4
  • £10.4 million working days lost because of stress related sickness absence4
  • £3.7 billion annual cost to employers of workplace stress5
  • 14% of employee turnover as a direct result of work-related stress6

How WorkGuru can help

WorkGuru combines the evidence-based approaches of work focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, positive psychology and job coaching. Providing individuals with the tools to build resilience and manage stress.

  • Research has shown that employees on sick leave for psychological distress who access work focused CBT made a full return to work 65 days earlier than those accessing traditional CBT.7
  • Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy significantly reduces relapse or recurrence in depression8, and has a positive effect in current mild to moderate depression9 & 10, anxiety11, and panic disorders12.
  • Positive psychology focuses on building the individual’s resilience, hope, optimism and self-efficacy13; helping people to experience the positives. Individuals showing these traits are more likely to ‘weather the storm’14 of change and uncertainty and to be more physically and mentally healthy15.
  • Evidence based coaching incorporates proven tools developed in the behavioural sciences15, tools such as problem solving, goal setting, CBT and solution focused approaches.

For a full list of references please see here.

Our Evidence

In 2016, 84 participants from six organisations took part in a randomised controlled trial of WorkGuru. An RCT is regarded as the gold standard in clinical trials. Secondary measures used in this study show that using WorkGuru results in lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress. This study was published in a peer review academic journal and is available from here.

In 2015, 45 people from 2 organisations completed our web-based stress management programme and on-line discussion group. Here are the results:

  • Everybody reported that WorkGuru helped them to manage their workplace stress.
  • Stress levels were significantly lower after completing our stress management programme (a mean difference of 4.88). This is a very large effect size (r = 0.62, p = .008)
  • Self –efficacy scores (our confidence and belief that we can succeed) were significantly higher after completing our stress management programme (a mean difference of 2.19). This is a very large effect size (r = 0.60, p = .011).

What people say about us

“Loved it! Incredibly useful and I actively told people about it and how useful it’s been (even outside my own organisation)”.

“Great exercise in self reflection and positive changes that can be made for both personal and professional development”.

“WorkGuru allowed me to look at how I am as a person and see how that can influence my job. It also gave me tips on how to stay happy”.

“It is a great way to increase your understanding about managing stress and resilience, but to get the most out of it you do need to put in some effort”.

“I really enjoyed completing some of the modules; particularly the ones that encouraged me to develop my understanding of my personality and my resilience to work based stress. The mindfulness module has convinced me to seek out mindfulness training, I also really liked the Monday Morning Message! A lovely email to receive on a grey Monday morning!”

“I was told about WorkGuru by the OH team at work - I was taking an SSRI and seeing a psychologist after having reached a breaking point with postnatal depression and OCD-like symptoms after returning from maternity leave some months earlier. The psychologist and I were working on specific issues to do with my sense of what I 'needed' to do, and my anxiety levels around that, but the WorkGuru resources were really useful for helping me with my 'homework' for the psychologist. It was also very good to read others' posts and to engage with what they had written: certainly when I began my treatment I felt very alone, worrying that everyone else seemed to be coping effortlessly with everything. The discussion group and resources helped me to realise that this was not the case!”