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Fleet sector under pressure but majority coping, VRA survey reveals

Nearly half (47%) of respondents to a Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) snapshot survey say they are currently facing issues affecting their work-life balance – but 89% say they are “somewhat confident” about coping with the stress caused.

The VRA research found members are currently under quite a lot of pressure but the majority believe that they coping

The questions were asked as part of a VRA webinar held this week on ‘How to Stay Well in a Time of Crisis’ that was designed to provide guidance on member wellbeing through the coronavirus era.

Chair Sam Watkins said: “The sample size for this was small – restricted to VRA members with around 20 people responding – but it does provide a useful indication of the how people in our sector are coping through current conditions.

“Overall, the survey chimes with the mood of the webinar itself – members are currently under quite a lot of pressure but the majority believe that they coping. What we are trying to do is signpost support for those who are perhaps struggling a little.”

The snapshot survey also asked members what coping techniques they were using; the answers ranged from golfing and finding time to spend with friends to taking out a Netflix subscription and buying a new motorbike. Conversely, those who outlined problems that were weighing heavily on them mentioned uncertainty, concern about the future, and feeling as though events were out of their control.

Watkins said: “What seems to be the case is that a lot of people have developed individual coping mechanisms and that most of them are good solutions – but a few are certainly feeling the pressure. We hope that the webinar was useful to them and that if they feel they need further support, that they can reach out.”

Speakers on the webinar included Prash Kotecha of Mantra Consulting, on reducing stress and building resilience, and Rachel Clift, health and wellbeing director at automotive industry charity Ben, on support and services that are available.

Two VRA members also opened up about their own experiences – Derren Martin of Cap HPI on his battle against prostate cancer and James Davis of Cox Automotive on the stigma of mental health in the workplace.

Watkins said: “Hearing VRA members talk about issues they had experienced and how they had overcome them was very, very powerful.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.