Stress has caused many millions of workers to put in their papers or call in sick, owing to "Monday Blues" , a research has shown.
A study for the mental health charity Mind found that almost 20 per cent of people had claimed they were ill because they could not cope with pressure in the office.
Last year, eight per cent of the population left a job due to stress and more than a quarter of people said their weekend was ruined by the thought of returning to work on Monday morning - researchers found.
The study comes with the launch of the charity's campaign to improve the work-life balance for employees.
It urged people to take practical steps to improve their working life, such as by "reclaiming" their lunch hour.
The study found that stress was badly affecting people's sleeping patterns, general health and relationships.
It noted that a record number of prescriptions for anti-depressants were issued last year at 39.1m, while a quarter of people said stress was affecting their relationship with their spouse or partner.
The recession was cited as a powerful negative influence on happiness at work, as staff felt pressured into working longer hours without extra pay while fearing for their jobs.
One in four said they had cried at work because they could not cope with the stress.
Over one in 10 said they felt they had insufficient support from their manager.
However, Mind believes not enough is being done to tackle the issue of mental health in the workplace.
"Working conditions have been incredibly tough for the last couple of years, and the emotional fall out of the recession doesn't just centre on people who have lost their jobs, but on people who are struggling to cope with the extra demands of working harder, longer hours, and under more pressure," the Telegraph quoted Paul Farmer, its chief executive, as saying.