Elevated Stress Levels and Heavy Workloads are soon becoming a Workplace Epidemic

March 17, 20168:10 am1251 views

Public health concerns that stress is becoming a workplace epidemic have been confirmed by an employee research survey by Insightlink Communications, which finds that the frequency of anxiety, exhaustion, burnout, and fear of losing their jobs is reported with increasing frequency.

Highlights from Insightlink’s 2015 Annual Survey of the American Workplace reveal that heavy workloads and high stress levels continue to dominate workplaces and plague efforts to combat stagnant levels of employee engagement.

The survey reveals that there is a clear correlation between high stress levels in employees and increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, higher levels of disengagement, and excessive turnover.

With employee engagement levels not showing any improvement, despite the attention this topic is getting, employers really have to assess what action they are taking to address, manage, and reduce the amount of work they expect their employees to manage and the amount of stress they are feeling.

See: Managing Stress @ Work

Based on research conducted in November 2015, the Insightlink survey reveals that:

  • 25% of employees continually have more work than they can finish, up from 20% in 2007
  • 70% find their work stressful, and one in three strongly find it extremely stressful, and
  • Only 25% strongly agree that they are able to find a satisfactory balance between personal/family obligations and career responsibilities, even though this is important to almost all employees.

To be successful, employers must commit to changing the working conditions that are creating this stress in the first place, says Insightlink President Robert Gray. “The only way workplace stress is going to be properly addressed is if senior management commits to learning and listening to the heart and soul of their organizations and their employees.”

“There has to be a sense that employees are getting as much back as they are giving to their workplaces before organizations can begin to reduce the amount of stress employees feel in their jobs,” adds Gray.

So, “in the past 10 years of our Annual Survey of the American Workplace, we’ve seen a steady increase in the proportion of U.S. employees who never have enough time to finish the work they’re expected to do,” writes Gray in a Pulse blog. If things don’t change, employees might be motivated to find new jobs.

Also read: Excessively Stressed Employees Impact Organisational Health

Image credit: personneltoday.com

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