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Workplace Stress

Numerous studies show job stress is a major stressor for American adults and it has escalated progressively during the past few decades. Increased levels of job stress (perceived as having lots of demands but little control) have been associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension, and other disorders. In New York, Los Angeles, and other large cities, the relationship between job stress and heart attacks is so well acknowledged that any police officer who suffers a coronary event on or off the job is assumed to have a work-related injury and is compensated accordingly.

Stress is a highly personalized phenomenon and can vary widely even in identical situations. One survey showed that having to complete paperwork was more stressful for many police officers than the dangers associated with pursuing criminals. The severity of job stress depends on the magnitude of the demands and the individual’s sense of control or decision-making latitude in dealing with them. Scientific studies based on this model confirm that workers who perceive they are subjected to high demands but have little control are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Empathetic management practices can encourage communication and compassion amongst teams and create a safe environment for employees to be transparent about their mental health and stress levels. This positive environment can combat stress and prevent burnout.

Take our FREE Workplace Stress Scale

This 8-question assessment is a valuable starting point to gauge your stress levels in the workplace. Take this proactive step toward managing your stress effectively, andprevent stress from controlling your life.

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of US workers say they suffer from daily work-related stress
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of US workers say that workplace stress affects their personal relationships
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of US workers are not engaged at work, leading to loss of productivity
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of US workers say that workload is the main cause of their stress

Burnout in the Workplace

Workplace stress is likely to be an issue for all professionals at some stage in their careers. No matter your industry or experience, all professionals need to practice managing stress for success and happiness in and out of work.

Poorly managed workplace stress can cause workers to experience burnout, a phenomenon we’ve all become more familiar with since the coronavirus pandemic.

Workplace stress tests us all, especially in achieving a work-life balance. According to research from Indeed, 52% of employees feel burnout, and it’s never been more important to understand how it can impact our lives. In 2020, online searches for signs of burnout increased by 24% compared to the previous year. The good news is there are many ways employers and employees can reduce the probability of experiencing burnout. From self-care to evolving company cultures, the future of work doesn’t have to include burnout as commonplace.

In the age of multiple screens and constant communication, learning how to spot the warning signs of burnout and prioritizing your mental health is essential to a sustainable career. In this guide, we explore what burnout looks and feels like, how to avoid it, and how to progress in your career without compromising yourself.

We all understand burnout in the context of workplace stressputting in longer hours, meeting important deadlines, etc. Research by Mental Health America and FlexJobsshows that 76% of respondents agreed that workplace stress affects their mental health, and they have experienced burnout.

Historically, the work culture in most companies is centered around productivity. And this is because businesses, by nature, are driven by profit, which is achieved by operating at maximum output. This often translates to productivity coming first, and inevitably, the needs of people coming second.

This environment is ripe for burnout because prioritizing profits and results becomes a work culture norm. And worse, employees may be afraid to voice concerns about their mental health because it could reflect negatively on their performance.

Tips for Promoting Employee Well-Being & Mental Health in the Workplace

Burned-out worker in a Hard Hat

A work culture that normalizes long working hours and neglects mental health is much more likely to see staff experience burnout.

Burned-out man at his desk

The Cost of Stress

Besides the toll on a person’s health, stress costs businesses (and the economybillions of dollars in absenteeism, decreased productivity, lower output, employee turnover, healthcare costs. Because workplace stress is inevitable, providing stress management tools can mitigate stress and lower its costs to the business over time.

  • Depression and anxiety cost the global economy approximately $1 trillion in lost productivity.
  • An estimated 1 million workers are absent every day because of stress.
  • Job stress is estimated to cost the US industry more than $300 billion in losses due to absenteeism, diminished productivity, and accidents.
  • Over 5 work hours are lost weekly to employees thinking about their stressors.
  • Work-related stress costs the United States $190 billion in annual healthcare costs.

Free Evidence-based Workforce Resilience and Well-being Course

Learn How to Control Your Reactivity to Stress with this Favorite Certified Online Course.

In this course you will learn behaviors, coping strategies and mindsets that lead to increased resilience against the negative impacts of stress.