The festive period is a special time of year for most but the reality is not everyone gets time off over the Christmas break and December can be one of the most stressful months of the year as workers juggle spending commitments and work-life priorities.

Regardless of the time of year, stress and anxiety have a major impact on the health of the workforce. Last year, 526,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety and there were 12.5m working days lost to those symptoms of mental illness.

Public sector stress.

The problem is more acute in the area I work, public services. A report by the Health and Safety Executive said that compared to all jobs, those in the public sector are most likely to cause stress.

It went on to say work-related stress, depression and anxiety ‘remain consistent’ in health and other public sector jobs and that the reasons behind it were consistent over time with workload, lack of managerial support and organisational change as the primary causative factors.

If you’re a teacher, nurse, support worker or one of the almost 5.5m people who work in the public sector in general, you’ll know the work can be difficult, the hours long as well as the emotional toll your job can have.

Proud to work in care.

Care has been the subject of negative headlines in recent months from unfilled vacancies, squeezed budgets and staff feeling underappreciated. But our recent survey of 1,000 care workers found a vast majority of are proud of the work they do and find their job fulfilling. 

Our survey found:

  • 96% feel their job ‘makes a difference’
  • 95% of survey respondents are proud to work in the sector
  • half said ‘caring for others’ was the most rewarding aspect of their job
  • 75% think that overall the good elements of their role outweigh the bad
  • most said they would recommend working in care


They care system is not perfect and with increasing demand and funding issues and there will be challenges ahead. But as our survey of care workers shows, it remains a fulfilling career with benefits - both personal and social ones - very few can match

about the author

Victoria Short

managing director, randstad public services