Woman thinking

A fifth of female workers fear they will be considered a 'pest' if they ask for advice on workplace issues, according to new research.

Twenty per cent of women surveyed by rungway, said they don't feel able to talk about their problems, compared with 14% of male workers.

Among the 2,000 UK workers in full time employment who took part in the survey, almost half (49%) said they would never look for guidance on issues within their workplace or career.

Julie Chakraverty, founder of rungway, said: “There is a lot of variation in peoples’ approach to managing work issues, but a common tread throughout is that some people are afraid of asking for help.

“Ignoring issues can make things worse, and what we’ve seen on rungway is that many people around us do want to help and are offering advice regularly”.

Does age play a role?

The survey concluded that young people are most afraid of being considered pests at work, with 18 to 34-year-olds stating this is the main reason they won’t ask for advice.

This age group also raised concerns regarding no-one understanding their issue (18%), no-one to turn to about their issue (14%) and that they are too afraid to ask for help (12%).

It was found that amongst 35 to 44-year-olds, 23% choose not to ask for advice because they think other people are too busy.

This was also a popular reason among 45 to 55-year-olds, with 22% of this age group in agreement. Both age groups viewed not wanting to seem like a pest as their second greatest reason for not seeking advice.Workers over 55 are the least likely to look for guidance on workplace issues with 69% not asking for help.

Are there any affects?

The results found that one in five say their work issues affect their sleep on a weekly basis.

Workers in the Oxford region were found to be losing the most sleep, with almost a third reporting their sleep is affected by work troubles. Belfast and London workers followed closely behind, with a quarter (25% and 24% respectively) losing sleep every week.

In contrast, Sheffield and Glasgow workers are least affected, as less than 13% say their sleep is disturbed by issues at work.

By Elena Hector, junior writer