The majority of British workers believe that emotional demands make a job just as tough as physical challenges, according to Samsung UK in research announced this week.

The research, commissioned to mark the launch of Samsung’s Tab Active tablet developed specially to be used by workers in demanding environments, examined British attitudes to what factors make for the toughest jobs. It revealed that while several factors combine to make a job hard in the eyes of workers – including low pay, anti-social hours or 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%) both score higher than working in dangerous environments. The research revealed 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 most Brits feel brave enough to take on the most physically demanding situations if the reward is right.

Whilst at least ten percent don’t believe any particular profession has it tougher than any other, a fifth (21%) believe 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 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; military personnel are seen to have the most physically challenging jobs.

And what makes work easier?

When investigating factors that might ease the strain of a tough job, over a quarter of respondents (27%) agreed having new or better working equipment would help make their jobs easier, whilst almost half (47%) think that having a supportive team to work with would be a benefit. Nearly 4 in 10 said having the backing of their boss (39%) and flexible working hours (38%) would improve it.

Graham Long, Vice President of Enterprise Business Team at Samsung comments:

“There are many factors that contribute to what workers define as making their job tough – while it may be hard to change factors dictated by the market such as hours and pay, there are steps businesses can take to support employees and help them be productive when they face challenging situations.

“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. 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.”