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Most Employees Complain of Work Stress

Posted on October 6, 2017

Few of us avoid experiencing work stress. For the majority of us, it’s increased during the past five years.

Those are the findings of a recent survey of employees conducted by staffing firm Accountemps.

According to Accountemps more than half (52 percent) of workers said they are stressed at work on a day-to-day basis. Sixty percent reported work-related pressure has increased in the last five years.

"Business is moving faster than ever, and employees can feel the crunch when it comes to imminent deadlines," said Bill Driscoll, a district president for Accountemps.

Driscoll said that workers shouldn't suffer in silence. “They can tap internal resources for help or seek advice from their managers to ensure they meet work expectations, while maintaining a healthy work-life balance," he said.

But how many actually do this? Most actually do suffer in silence.

Accountemps found that:

  • Younger workers are feeling the pressure: Sixty-four percent of professionals between the ages of 18 and 34 admitted to being stressed on the job, compared to 59 percent of workers ages 35 to 54 and only 35 percent of respondents ages 55 and older.
  • Gender differences exist: Slightly more men (57 percent) than women (47 percent) said they are stressed at work on a daily basis.
  • CFOs reported the most stressed staff in the following cities: 1) Salt Lake City, 2) Boston and Des Moines (tied), 4) Cleveland and 5) New York
  • Professionals shared the following ways they combat stress at work: exercise daily (e.g., yoga, walking, running), enjoy time with friends or a significant other after work, engage in a hobby (e.g., gardening, reading), listen to music and take vacation time to recharge.

Here are some tips for employees:

  • Protect your time. Staying organized is critical to finishing tasks. Rather than trying to juggle two things at once, schedule periods throughout the day to focus on key assignments.
  • Speak up. If your to-do list is never-ending, it's possible you have too much on your plate. Talk to your manager about your workload and ask for help.
  • Take a break. Feeling overwhelmed during the day? Step away from your desk, go for a walk or grab a snack. If you can't get outside, look away from the computer and focus on a non-work related activity for a few minutes.  

Managers Should:

  • Help prioritize. Meet with team members individually to help prioritize workloads and set realistic expectations about project deadlines and desired outcomes. If there is too much work to go around, bring in temporary professionals to lighten the workload for full-time employees.
  • Offer resources. Encourage your team to take advantage of stress-management webinars, wellness tips or programs, and yoga or meditation classes available to them. Set a good example by utilizing these offerings as well as employee breakrooms or lounges.
  • Make it fun. The job may be serious, but laughter and camaraderie can lead to greater work satisfaction and happiness. Look for ways to lighten the mood through social activities, staff celebrations or office decorations.

We’ll never completely avoid work stress, but we can do a much better job of dealing with it, and mitigating the effects of stress.