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Middle-aged workers suffering from lifestyle-related stress

Key decision makers are being overlooked by employers, warns GRiD

Stress and anxiety related to home life are affecting Generation X – people aged between 43 and 54 – more than any other demographic, a survey reveals.

The research from GRiD, the group risk association, found 40% of employers believe that stress and anxiety related to home life, including managing difficult relationships and caring responsibilities, is affecting their Gen X staff.

A further 37% of employers worry that ill-health related to lifestyle is affecting their Gen X staff and 35% worry that a general lack of fitness caused by a non-active lifestyle/sedentary working is affecting their Gen X staff. These figures were higher than for any other demographic.

After millennials, Gen X staff is the demographic that employers believe is the most likely to suffer from stress and anxiety relating to work and the most likely to be stressed by finances.

Second only to baby boomers, employers worry that Gen X have a high tendency to suffer from chronic health conditions.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, warned that Gen X is the group that is least likely to have time to look after themselves properly, and most likely to use bad habits such as smoking, drinking or food to prop themselves up.

“A strong work ethic means they are split between busy work and home lives and caring responsibilities for children and parents. Still with substantial financial commitments, many will feel that all areas of their lives cause stress and anxiety,” she said.

Moxham warned that if staff need to take time off to recuperate or recover, it can leave a substantial hole in a business or organisation because Gen Xers are often key decision makers.

According to GRiD, employers are often quick to highlight their on-trend benefits for younger staff but Generation X are at risk of being easily overlooked.

Moxham said a Gen X worker is the most likely person to duck out of an employee benefits meeting at the last minute or have the least time to log into a company benefits platform. As a result, they need bite-sized information that is timely, appropriate and relevant.

GRiD suggested providing direct support for the specific issues Gen X people deal with, such as finding eldercare or how to deal with childcare issues; access to GP services, physio and rehabilitation; access to counselling and mental health first aiders; and debt management or financial support in the event of ill-health.