Millions of British workers believe the stress of their job has had a negative effect on their mental health.

A poll of 2,000 employees revealed six in 10 feel tired, anxious and worried due to huge workloads and long hours.

Unpleasant colleagues or clients, a tough commute and the feeling of having to rush through work are also cited as common work-related stress triggers.

Nearly seven in 10 struggle to “switch off” at the end of the working day and find this affects their overall mood and happiness.

But while 59 per cent of those suffering say their boss is “understanding” and 63% feel well supported by colleagues, friends and family, 61% feel their workplace could do more to support those with mental health issues.

Just four in 10 believe their place of work has a mental health policy in place, or people qualified to help those with work related stress.

Some respondents said they have developed their own coping strategies by taking regular breaks, working from home occasionally and taking sick days when needed.

The survey found that owning a pet is also shown to be beneficial in relieving workplace pressures outside of the office, with 83% of workers with a pet saying that their animal helps to reduce their stress levels and improve their emotional wellbeing.

The research was carried out by working animal charity SPANA ahead of World Animal Day Geoffrey Dennis of SPANA said: “Stress and ill health in the working world is a very real thing, as more and more adults feel they have to deliver work at speed and under pressure.

“There doesn’t seem to be such a thing as a nine-to-five job, as workers are constantly taking work home with them, or staying on in the office at all hours to try and get everything done.

“Workers in the UK are feeling under relentless pressure.”

He added: “Thankfully, owning a pet is proving a saving grace for many stressed out workers in the UK. 

“Almost half of adults have a pet and the evidence shows they can help to reduce anxiety and loneliness, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and even prevent depression.”

The study also found four in 10 adults have taken a day off work due to stress – and for some, worrying about company performance and the risk of losing their job can contribute to their feelings of anxiety.

Other day-to-day stress triggers include a lack of confidence in their ability (13%), having a horrible boss (33%) and having to deal with frustrated clients or customers (14%).

Being micro-managed can lead to feelings of anxiety for 13% of adults while, on the flip side, 8% struggle without clear direction from above.

Unfortunately, for the adults who struggle to switch off fully at the end of the day, a staggering nine in 10 say this can affect their everyday life.

Around two-thirds of adults have had a partner or family member comment on how stressed they seem because of work, and 49% sometimes feel embarrassed or ashamed of the way they allow their workplace stress to affect them in “real life”.

Previous research has found the highest levels of workplace stress in the social care sector, with half of British workers admitting that job worries disrupt their sleep.