Stress survey report Feb/March 2022

Results of UCU Stress Survey Feb/March 2022


  • Between 8th Feb and 9th March 2022, UCU conducted a stress survey of employees of the University of Roehampton who are also members of UCU. We were pleased to receive a 47% response rate with 79% of the returned surveys complete.
  • Very high stress levels were observed with 37% scoring ‘severe’ or ‘extremely severe’ stress. 87% of respondents felt frequently overwhelmed, and over 70% reported sleep problems and constant worrying.
  • Work-related hazards identified as precursors at Roehampton included high work demands, low control over work processes, lack of role clarity with respect to departmental and university objectives, low levels of support from managers and poor change management practices.
  • Analysis of qualitative comments shows that the workload allocation model is perceived as unrealistic, particularly with respect to time allocated for preparation of teaching and marking, requiring significant levels of unpaid overtime. It is perceived to be arbitrarily administered and it does not recognise pressure points.
  • The COVID pandemic has had a detrimental effect on workload and staff wellbeing both in its own right and in terms of how matters have been handled by the university.
  • Issues with leadership have been identified which particularly affect change management and communication of strategic objectives at university and departmental level. In addition, many participants feel there is a culture of bullying unchecked by management and a lack of management support.
  • Schools fare differently with respect to the impact of stress hazards. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Psychology are most affected whereas the School of Health and Life Sciences and the Faculty of Education are least affected.
  • The levels of stress and stress hazards observed require urgent action at university level. It is, therefore, imperative that the university conduct a stress risk assessment identifying hazards and measures to eliminate or moderate their impact. This must include an impact assessment of the new workload model and the changes to the academic calendar.

You can read and download the full report here: Stress survey report.