Anyone who’s ever had a job has been stressed at work at some point in time.
The barista loses it when the line of caffeine fiends (caffeinds?) snakes from the register out the door and down the sidewalk. The graphic designer loses it when task upon task upon task pile up on their plate. The waiter loses it when the kitchen messes up a few orders in a row on a spectacularly busy night. The star athlete loses it when they slump and the sports media starts speculating whether the person is past their prime. The list goes on and on.
Indeed, stress plays an enormous role in virtually all organizations. But it’s not a good one. Just consider these 11 shocking statistics about stress in the workplace and how it can impact employee engagement:
A recent Everest College survey revealed that a whopping 83% of American professionals are stressed out at their jobs. Some of the reasons for that stress include low pay, too much work, poor work-life balance, lack of job security, lack of professional development opportunities, and not being in the right field.
According to an aggregated report by Health Advocate, stress has a profoundly negative impact on worker productivity to the tune of $300 billion each year. (The next four statistics are taken from that same report.)
When an accident occurs at the workplace, there’s a good chance it can be attributed to stress. As a result, workers’ comp claims for stress-related incidents are on the rise.
We all need mental health days from time to time, and it turns out stress is a major cause for those absences. All told, this results in the average company losing $602 each year per employee for stress-related absences.
Not everyone can call out of work when they’re not sick, thanks to a guilty conscience. So many stressed-out workers show up to work anyway, even if they’re not in good shape. Three out of five workers say they’ve lost productivity due to being stressed at the office.
Stressed-out employees have considerably higher health care costs than their more relaxed peers. A recent study found that as many as 90% of visits to the doctor’s office can be linked to stress.
A survey conducted by Gallup revealed that, though they didn’t end up crossing the line, 14% of workers wanted to hit their coworkers due to stress.
Nearly three out of ten workers have gotten so stressed to the point they’ve raised their voices to their colleagues, according to a survey by Integra.
According to our 2015 Employee Engagement Report, a majority of workers feel as though there simply aren’t enough hours in the workweek to get everything done.
Technology is supposed to make work easier. That doesn’t stop three out of four employees from feeling as though they have it worse off than workers in previous generations, according to Princeton Survey Research Associates.
A recent study by the American Psychological Association revealed that more than half of workers feel as though their employers aren’t doing a good job of ensuring work-life balance.
The good news is that employers have the power to solve the problems that are causing their workers stress. Do that, and your office will become a much better place to go to every day — and your workers will be more productive.
What Causes Stress in the Workplace?
There are a number of factors that contribute to stress in the workplace. Let’s take a look at what some of the more common ones are — and what managers can do to reduce the chances the factors will adversely affect their own staffs:
1. Low wages
If your employees are busting their tails and feel as though they’re not getting fairly compensated for their efforts, they’re likely to be stressed. Couple that with the fact that, according to our Employee Engagement Report, 25% of workers would take another job for a 10% raise. An easy way to remedy stress? Don’t be stingy with salaries, benefits, and wage increases.
2. A lack of professional development opportunities
While many employees are interested in professional development opportunities, only 25% of them believe their employers offer enough of them, according to our report. This lack of chance to enhance one’s career is a major cause of workplace stress. Workers feel as though they are pouring their souls into an organization that doesn’t return the favor. Fix this stressor by making professional development a top priority.
3. Heavy workloads
Our engagement report revealed that nearly 70% of workers feel like they have too much on their plate each week. Feeling as though you’re unable to get all your work done each week is definitely stressful. How can you have any job security if you can’t get your assignments done? To alleviate stress for overworked employees, take tasks off their plate by making sure you have sufficient headcount on your team and make sure workloads are evenly distributed.
4. Lack of a work-life balance
Not surprisingly, employees who work constantly suffer from a lack of work-life balance. In many instances, technology has exacerbated this problem. It’s not uncommon for workers to check their email throughout the night when they get home, for example. Reduce your employees stress related to a lack of work-life balance by taking action to ensure workers have enough downtime.
5. Having no say
When things seem to be moving in the wrong direction but employees have no way of letting their bosses know how they feel, work tends to get stressful. An easy fix: Use pulse surveys to regularly solicit feedback from your workers on how things are going. Empower your employees to create positive change in the workplace.
Work is already stressful enough, but there are ways that managers can help ease the pressure off their teams. If given the proper support, then you'll notice a more engaged and happier workforce.