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Firms count cost of stress

Companies are wasting time and money because their executives are having their energy sapped by office politics and increased pressures, a survey has found. A study of 100 senior and middle managers highlighted growing levels of stress, worsened by long hours, infrequent breaks and insomnia.

Two-thirds of those questioned by the Quindo Centre for stress management admitted to suffering stress-related problems at work, including bullying and office politics. Senior managers were failing to see the danger signs for stress levels among employees.

"It is an established fact that 90 per cent of absenteeism is stress- related, with millions of pounds lost to UK companies as a result.

"Companies don't have time or money to waste on office politics and the stress it spawns - this wastage needs to be tackled urgently if business targets are to be met," said Quindo Centre spokesman, Mahal Tierney.

Half the managers surveyed said they took more days off sick last year than in 1995.