Dealing with demanding bosses is tougher than risking your life on the job, British workers claim

British workers rate emotional demands ahead of danger when defining the toughest aspects of their jobs.

Emotional demands make a job just as tough as physical challenges, new research from Samsung has revealed. 

The Britain’s Toughest Jobs survey of 1,174 UK workers revealed that whilst several factors combine to make a job hard in the eyes of workers – including low pay, anti-social hours and dangerous environments – it is the emotional demands that we are most apprehensive about.

Of the top five factors that make a job tough, long hours (69%) and low pay (64%) top the list, but dealing with difficult people (58%) and having demanding bosses (52%) score higher than working in dangerous environments. 

According to the survey, almost half of British workers would consider working at great heights (42%), deep underground (47%) or a role that could potentially put their life at risk (47%) – implying that many Brits feel brave enough to take on the most physically demanding situations if the reward is right.

Whilst at least 10% said they don’t believe any particular profession has it tougher than any other, a fifth (21%) said emergency services workers have the toughest jobs in the country, followed by soldiers (20%) and nurses (14%). 

Of those that were polled, no-one thought being a finance broker or Premier League football manager was a tough job in comparison.

The research also highlighted that emergency services workers are perceived to take a double hit on working the longest and most unsociable hours, whilst factory workers are perceived as the lowest paid and military personnel are seen to have the most physically challenging jobs.

When investigating factors that might ease the strain of a tough job, over a quarter of respondents (27%) agreed that having new or better working equipment make their jobs easier, whilst almost half (47%) thought that a supportive team would be a benefit. 

Nearly four in ten said having the backing of their boss (39%) and flexible working hours (38%) would improve it.  

“Having the right support in place to overcome the emotional strain of tough jobs – whether that’s on a personal level or through team and leadership structures – really helps,” said Graham Long, VP of the enterprise business team at Samsung. “Many businesses we work with are also deploying technology to help frontline workers access information and deal with situations more confidently. 

“Whether they are an engineer working in a hostile environment, emergency worker attending an incident in the field or frontline service provider dealing with customer queries.”


Alan Dobie

Johnathon Jacobs

Alan Dobie was assistant editor at Vitesse Media Plc before moving on to a content producer role at Reed Business Information. He has over 17 years of experience in the publishing industry and has held...

Related Topics

Venture capital funding