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Workplace stress: the scope of the issue in the US

Nov 20, 2019 9:18:59 AM / by Anna

Numerous surveys and studies confirm that occupational pressures and fears are far and away the leading source of stress for American adults

Over the years, the American Institute of Stress has gathered statistics on workplace stress that makes for depressing reading: over 80% of workers feel stress on the job, 19% or almost one in five respondents had quit a previous position because of job stress and nearly one in four have been driven to tears because of workplace stress. Almost half of respondents named workload as the main culprit of stress, which goes in line with the trend of  Americans to work longer and harder. 

Contrary to other industrial nations that have been reducing working hours and introducing more relaxed schedules, Americans tend to work longer: according to the International Labor Organization study, Americans now work almost a month more than the Japanese, the most hard-working nation until 1995, and three months more than Germans. Apart from putting in longer hours, Americans work harder, with 40% of respondents claiming their office environment to resemble a survival program.  

Under these circumstances, violence has become an increasingly serious problem: 42% report yelling and verbal abuse as common, 29% admit they yelled at coworkers because of stress and 14% report that machinery took the hit and was damaged in a “desk rage” attack. The US has the highest violent crime rate of any industrialized nation, and reported 18,000 non-fatal violent crimes such as sexual and other assaults also take place each week while the victim is working. 

Another worrisome trend is the increasing number of workers calling in sick due to stress: in just four years, stress-related absenteeism tripled. Over half of the working days lost annually in the U.S. from absenteeism are stress related and are estimated to cost  American companies $602.00/worker/year and the price tag for large employers could approach $3.5 million annually. What's worse, stress is infectious: if occurs in key employees, it can have a domino effect that spreads down the line. 

Source: Workplace stress

Written by Anna