Stress levels are on the rise in small businesses, driving absences and affecting business performance.
According to Zurich’s latest SME Risk Index, 42% of small business owners believe stress had a noticeable impact on their business in 2012.
Workforce absences have risen over the past two years, with 12% reporting more short-term absences related to stress. A quarter (25%) of respondents reported lower morale in 2012 due to stress. Overall, 29% of those surveyed said stress is having a negative impact on business performance.
Some respondents seemed to be confident about their business in 2013, however. A third (33%) said they welcome the prospect of a stronger economic environment and 29% said they were looking ahead to expansion of business in the UK.
Richard Coleman, Director of SME at Zurich Insurance said: “It is perhaps not surprising that the fragile business climate has had such an impact on workforce stress and morale, and if these issues aren’t addressed they could have serious long-term consequences for business stability and performance.”