I’m wondering how many small changes – by academics, and by institutions, could change this? And how much of it is self-driven?
Academics are suffering from growing stress levels as a result of heavy workloads, management issues and a long-hours culture, a survey has found.
Unachievable deadlines, acute time pressures and the need to work quickly were also common complaints identified by an occupational stress survey completed by more than 14,000 university employees.
Staff were asked by the University and College Union about areas that could potentially cause them stress, such as conflicting management demands, workloads and pressures on their time.
Academics experience far higher levels of stress in these areas than employees in other professions, the survey found.
On a scale of one to five, the stress level of university staff is 2.51 (when well-being is assessed on a scale of one to five, with one being the highest stress level).
This has worsened in the four years since the Health and Safety Executive’s report Psychosocial Working Conditions in Britain in 2008 found that, when it came to demands on their time, academics had a stress level of 2.61 compared with 3.52 in the overall economy.
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Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.