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Rising Pressures Affect the Mental Health of Delivery Drivers

Recent research has found that over 80% of drivers have reported experiencing burnout. Rapidly increasing costs, low and unfair pay and long hours unsurprisingly takes their toll on drivers. Stress and burnout experienced by drivers can lead to serious mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Flower warehouse

These conditions not only negatively impact drivers, they cause complications for businesses as fewer drivers are available to make deliveries. Some research has listed poor mental health as a common cause of road accidents, posing a considerable threat to the general public.

This article dives into the adverse effects industry trends are having on driver mental health and the solutions we can implement to overcome the issue.

Fast forwarding burnout? The challenges facing today’s delivery drivers.

The e-commerce boom has increased the demand for delivery drivers. Customer expectations have shifted significantly, with 78% of consumers now expecting to see same-day or next-day delivery options at checkout. This expedited delivery landscape increases time pressures for drivers, requiring more efficiency and flexibility.

Alongside this, growing attention to more sustainable delivery options has prompted exploration of innovative delivery solutions, such as delivery drones. While these developments hold promise for the future, they have increased concerns surrounding job security for delivery drivers. This pressure is increased by the treatment drivers often experience, with 69% having reported that their pay has been withheld until all deliveries had been completed and 54% stated they weren’t paid overtime despite working outside of scheduled hours.

As the demand for deliveries increases, the quality of information given to drivers is sometimes poor, with many reporting stress arising from continually unclear delivery information. This, paired with increased road traffic causing unplanned delays adds more stress to drivers’ day-to-day.

Delivering under pressure: The mental health toll on delivery drivers.

Whilst the terms ‘key worker’ has become commonplace since the pandemic, the mental health toll on delivery drivers persists. Research indicates a concerning trend: one in five delivery drivers described their mental health as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

The reasons behind this decline are clear. Drivers are handling a multitude of stressors: increased time pressures and workload, job uncertainty and road congestion. As drivers, particularly those that are self-employed, often have no one to share their concerns with, the increased stress can lead to feelings of isolation and a lack of control; more than 1 in 10 drivers said they hadn’t spoken to anyone about their struggles. The perceived lack of control and unresolved issues can lead to a sense of hopelessness.

Flower delivery

Building a better delivery ecosystem

To create a sustainable future for the delivery workforce, prioritising driver wellbeing and safety is paramount. Here’s how we can achieve this:

Fair pay and workload management: Ensuring drivers are paid fair rates for every job by reducing bidding wars that drive prices down. Implementing reasonable caps on the number of drops drivers are requested to complete per day will reduce the need to work extra hours despite stress and fatigue.

Streamlined communication: Foster clear and consistent communication between drivers, businesses and customers. This reduces confusion and frustration, leading to a smoother delivery experience for everyone.

Financial security and trust: Ensuring fast and reliable payment to drivers fosters trust, boosts morale and contributes to a sense of job security.

For drivers who are feeling the strain on their mental health, it is important to talk to employers or your support network to get help wherever you can. There are also useful online tools to help manage stress levels and find ways to restore balance between work and life.

DeliveryApp prides itself on prioritising driver wellbeing. We never allow bidding for jobs – the price you see is what you get! We provide payment in 7-days, offer a dedicated driver support team to streamline communication and place maximum caps on multi-drop bookings to ensure the working day ends when it should.

Research sources:

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DeliveryApp is a nationwide delivery service that connects florists to a network of vetted- professional, courier drivers within minutes, for same-day or scheduled deliveries.



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