Top 10 Most Stressful Professions; Work Stresses and Colleague Irritations

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A new survey of more than 3,000 people - conducted by SWNS on behalf of online learning provider, SkillSoft - reveals which professions are the most stressful and what things lead people to feeling stressed stress at work.

IT experts are more likely to suffer from stress than any other professional, according to the survey.

A staggering 97 per cent of people working in IT claim to find their life at work stressful on a daily basis.

Four out of five IT consultants feel stressed before they even enter the workplace, in anticipation of another day juggling complaints, pressure from managers and daily targets.

And a quarter of IT experts are under such enormous pressure to perform at work they have taken time off suffering with stress.

The poll also revealed that a third of IT professionals say it is difficult to get the work done when managers are constantly on their backs.

One IT respondent said: “I spend most of my day fielding calls from people who don’t even have a basic knowledge of computers and printers.

“It is amazing the amount of time I spend teaching people where the on-off button is.

“And when I do actually find a technical problem to solve, I have my manager breathing down my neck wondering why I have a backlog of complaints.”

Kevin Young, managing director of SkillSoft says: “Our research was sparked by a recent Gartner report which claims that the untrained or under-trained desktop user will cost an organisation five times more to support than a well-trained worker. This led us to thinking about how much pressure this must also put on the IT professionals who have to provide such support.

“By commissioning this study, our aim was to establish to what level workload affects the stress levels of people working in IT and across a variety of other job disciplines; and to learn more about the sort of other factors that impact on stress in the workplace.”

People working in medical professions have the second most stressful job – with 96.8 per cent saying caring for others is rewarding but traumatic on the same hand.

Engineers, Sales and Marketing professionals and Teachers also have demanding roles, according to the poll.

The poll reveals that 37 per cent of folk find it difficult to meet deadlines, whilst 31 per cent stress about taking on other people’s work.

A disgruntled 28 per cent say they lack job satisfaction, and would prefer to work elsewhere.

A third of people would rather be their own boss, and have complete control over their daily duties.

And employees claim to feel put-upon and suffer most at the hands of their managers – who are blamed for lack of support, increasing pressure, interruptions and bullying behaviour.

Kevin Young continues: “According to the Health & Safety Executive, stress is now the biggest cause of working days lost through injury or ill-health (an estimated 12.8 million lost days each year). And the TUC estimates that work-related stress costs the economy up to £7bn per annum.

“By understanding more about what makes people stressed at work, organisations are much better placed to manage its causes.”



Medicine / Caring Profession


Sales and Marketing



Human Resources






Feeling undervalued


Type of work people have to do

Having to take on other people’s work

Lack of job satisfaction

Lack of control over the working day

Having to work long hours

Frustration with the working environment



Seeing others not pulling their weight

Managers changing their minds about what they want doing

Lack of support from managers

Pressure from managers

Feeling put-upon by managers

Interruptions by colleagues

Interruptions by managers

Bullying behaviour by managers

Lack of support from colleagues

Bullying behaviour by colleagues

Further information from Louise Jaggs at TextOnTap

t: +44(0)1242 257770 m: +44(0)7712 011246

About SkillSoft (NASDAQ – SKIL –

SkillSoft is a leading provider of comprehensive e-learning content and technology products for business and IT professionals within global enterprises. SkillSoft's multi-modal learning solutions support and enhance the speed and effectiveness of both formal and informal learning processes and integrate SkillSoft's in-depth content resources, learning management system, virtual classroom technology and support services.

Content offerings include SkillSoft's business, IT, desktop and compliance courseware collections and BusinessPro(TM), ITPro(TM), OfficeEssentials(TM), FinancePro(TM), EngineeringPro(TM), GovEssentials(TM), ExecSummaries(TM) and ExecBlueprints(TM) collections from Books24x7(R). SkillSoft's complementary technologies include SkillPort(R), the company's learning management system with its powerful Search-and-Learn(TM) technology and premium add-on modules, and SkillSoft(R) Dialogue(TM) virtual classroom, a tool that allows customers to create and deliver effective blended learning programmes using custom content, in-house material and off-the-shelf learning resources.


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Louise Jaggs
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