Work anxiety is something that many people suffer from; therefore, you are not alone. There are many ways in which you can reduce work anxiety which will have a positive knock-on effect to both your working life and private life.
Common Work Anxiety Symptoms
Symptoms of work anxiety include lack of sleep, constant worrying about work and catastrophising minor concerns. If you’re worried about taking time off work due to anxiety, consider income protection insurance to top up any sick pay.
We often forget that employers have a legal obligation regarding the health and well-being of their employees. Did you know that?
In reality, there are very few working environments which do not create a level of anxiety. When this level of anxiety becomes chronic, this is where problems start to occur, and stress levels can go through the roof. We ignore our own physical, mental and financial well-being to our detriment.
So, what can we do to tackle workplace anxiety? Let’s take a deeper look
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- – I’m constantly worried about work, what can I do?
- – The comprehensive benefits of income protection
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What Are the Signs of Workplace Anxiety?
Anxiety, stress and depression are some of the leading mental health issues which are thankfully being addressed. Some of the more common signs of workplace anxiety include:-
- Constant tiredness
- Heart palpitations
- Living on your nerves
- Excessive/irrational worrying
- Mood swings
The likelihood is that many people reading this article will have suffered one or more of the above symptoms at some point in their life. It is when you start to experience two or more of these symptoms in conjunction that they can indicate signs of workplace anxiety.
A recent survey confirmed that while 41% of the general public have life insurance and 16% have private health insurance, only 9% have income protection insurance.
How Does Anxiety Show Itself In the Workplace?
We have already listed some signs of anxiety which often show themselves in the workplace? Here are some of the more common scenarios:-
- Inability to concentrate
- Missing deadlines
- Overthinking relatively simple tasks
- Overreacting when questioned by colleagues
- Increased time off work
It is not difficult to match the various workplace scenarios with traditional signs of anxiety. The challenge now is to address the signs, make changes to your life and literally start to live again.
What Can Cause Anxiety in the Workplace?
There are many people in the workplace that will never have experienced anxiety. For those that have, what are the more common causes of workplace anxiety?
- Conflicts with colleagues
- Unachievable deadlines
- Managing staff
- Long hours
- Demanding boss
- Lack of structure
- Low salary
- Lack of control
- Competition in the workplace
It is not difficult to see how workplace anxiety can increase significantly, especially if there is a competition between colleagues – rather than working together.
How Does Workplace Anxiety Impact an Individual’s Life?
Unfortunately, when stress and anxiety in the workplace impact individuals, it is very difficult to stop it from affecting other areas of their life. Some of the more common effects of workplace anxiety include:-
- Breakdown of relationship with colleagues
- Impact on home life
- Reduced workplace productivity
- Emergence of phobias
- Lack of job satisfaction
- Increased risk-taking
- Inability to plan ahead
- Feelings of isolation
- Withdrawal from social interaction
In reality, the list is much longer, but this will give you an idea of how workplace anxiety can impact your working life and your personal life. For example, if you are feeling isolated and wracked with self-doubt, it is very difficult to switch off these emotions when you leave the workplace.
How Many People Experience Anxiety in the Workplace?
A recent report from the Anxiety Disorders Association of America cast a very interesting light on anxiety and stress in the workplace. They found that:-
- 9% of individuals are living with a diagnosed anxiety disorder
- 40% of people experience ongoing stress/anxiety in their everyday life
While these figures show the challenges faced by many people on a daily basis, some experts believe they are just the tip of the iceberg. Even though the stigma associated with any form of mental distress/mental illness has reduced in recent years, many people are still not comfortable talking about their mental health.
Could Workplace Anxiety Lead to Me Losing My Job?
This is one of the reasons why it is very important to tackle workplace anxiety as soon as possible. In the event that you were to keep quiet about your ongoing issues, then you would simply be judged on the quality and productivity of your work.
In theory, if you were underperforming, making errors or simply not hitting deadlines, then your job could be at risk.
Is My Employer Obliged to Help Me?
Yes. There are numerous legal protections afforded to employees, one of which is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This act places a legal obligation on all employers with regards to the health and safety of their employees.
In the modern era, this protection relates to both physical and mental health. So, if you approach your employer about increased work anxiety, they have an obligation to work with you to help you.
How Could I Protect My Income if I Was Forced to Take Time off Work?
The level of sickness pay offered by employers can vary significantly with statutory sick pay now standing at around £96 a week. If for example, you had a regular income of £2000 a month which dropped to circa £400 a month it could be devastating for your financial well-being.
As a consequence, more and more people are now looking towards income protection insurance. This is a useful way to protect your income in the event that you are not able to work as a consequence of illness/injury.
Can I Protect Myself From Redundancy?
Yes. Some income protection policies will allow you to add redundancy cover which would payout in the event that you were made redundant through no fault of your own. It is also possible to take out redundancy cover as an individual policy.
There are two types of income protection policy, long-term and short-term, and it is worth noting that redundancy cover would come under a short-term policy.
What Level of Payments Should I Expect From an Income Protection Policy?
Income protection policies tend to pay out between 50% and 70% of your gross monthly income. The higher the payment, the higher the premiums as this increases the liability for insurance companies. It is worth noting that these payments are tax-free.
What Am I Entitled to When Taking Time Off Sick?
Whatever happens, you will be entitled to statutory sick pay which at the moment is around £95 per week. However, you tend to find that many employers have an enhanced sick payment scheme.
For example, you may receive full pay for three months, and half pay for a further three months after which point you might move on to statutory sick pay. This is just an example, but it gives you an idea of how some employers appear to value their employees more than others.
Your employer’s sick payment scheme should be detailed in your employment contract – this should be your first port of call. However, over time the scheme will likely be adjusted and changed. You should receive written/email confirmation of any changes, and it is worth checking with your manager/HR department to get an up-to-date understanding.
How Does Income Protection and Sick Pay Work?
If you decide to take out income protection insurance, you need to set up the policy with your employer’s sick pay scheme in mind. For example, there is no point in immediately receiving income protection insurance payments if you are receiving full pay for three months and a half pay for three months (see above example).
In this scenario, you would probably look to schedule your first income protection insurance pays out after six months. This means that the payments would kick in once your employer’s enhanced sick pay scheme came to an end and you were scheduled to move onto statutory sick pay.
It is worth noting that you will still receive statutory sick pay even if you have income protection insurance. This type of insurance cover is optional. Therefore you will not be penalised and lose out on statutory sick pay.
Are Income Protection Payments Free of Tax?
Yes. The majority of income protection payment schemes will pay out between 50% and 70% of your gross monthly income – tax-free. When you bear in mind taxation on your gross pay, income protection payments will not be too far away from your net monthly wages.
The higher the level of insurance cover the more expensive your premiums. It is also worth noting that if you introduce an extended period, before your first income protection insurance payment, this will also help to keep premiums down.
Should I Take Advice About Income Protection Insurance?
Yes. It is very important to have an appreciation of how income protection insurance can complement your employer’s sick pay scheme. There are also various additions you can add to your income protection insurance such as redundancy cover.
An insurance broker will go through your specific situation and requirements before advising you on the best course of action. It is also important to find a balance between cover and affordability because there is no point in overstretching yourself.
How Much Would an Insurance Broker Charge Me?
There is now enhanced transparency when it comes to insurance broker commissions and charges. You tend to find that there are three specific charging structures which are:-
- Direct charge to the client
- Commission from life insurance companies
- A mixture of the two
There is a growing trend towards clients paying a direct charge for advice and action with regards to income protection insurance. Many people believe this helps to avoid a potential “conflict-of-interest”.
Workplace anxiety is extremely common, and unfortunately, it can have a detrimental impact on other areas of your life. As a consequence, if you are experiencing workplace anxiety, then you need to make your employer aware and discuss ways in which you can alleviate the problem.
If left to fester, this can often lead to financial anxiety. As a consequence, we have seen many people looking towards income protection insurance as a means of protecting their regular income going forward.
Quick Income Protection FAQs
The cost of income protection insurance will depend upon your individual scenario and your requirements. The long-term income protection cover is more expensive as it could payout for a number of years in various scenarios.
Short-term income protection is limited to between 12 months and 24 months per claim per condition and is, therefore, less of a liability for the insurance company.
While in exceptional circumstances, you may see unemployment protection extended to 24 months, the normal duration is 12 months. All policies include an initial period when no payments are made, which can be anything between 4 weeks and two years.
The deferral period would depend on your redundancy package, level of savings and financial liabilities.
When taking out an income protection policy, which includes redundancy insurance, you need to specify your salary at the time. There is some variation in the level of funds made available under this type of policy, but it tends to vary between 50% and 70% of your regular monthly income.
So for example, if prior to being made redundant you earned £2000 a month before tax, you would receive between £1000 and £1400 a month if made redundant.
How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With an Income Protection Insurance?
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Income Protection Insurance brokers. They have already helped thousands of people get the best Income Protection Insurance cover and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these brokers who can provide you with a ‘whole market quote’ then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.