workplace stress on the rise

Worker Stress Levels On the Rise

Sept. 25, 2012
A new global survey reveals that work is a major and increasing source of stress worldwide.

Workers the world over are facing increasing stress levels, and flexible working arrangements possibly could improve the health, well-being and productivity of employees, suggests a new report.

The September 2012 report, “From Distressed to De-Stressed,” presents the results of a global survey of more than 16,000 people commissioned by Regus, a provider of flexible workplace options.

On average worldwide, 48 percent of survey respondents indicated that their stress levels have increased in the past year, with work cited as the top cause of stress. Furthermore, 59 percent of respondents, both in the United States and on the global average, agreed with the statement, “My job has been a major cause of stress in the past year.”

Sixty-three percent of respondents worldwide, and 66 percent in the United States, believe that flexible working arrangements reduce stress.

“Allowing employees to choose when or where they work is regarded by respondents as a way of helping them balance the stress of work with family commitments and of ensuring that it is possible to recharge their batteries spending time with their loved ones and fighting professional burnout,” the report stated.

Additional key findings include:

  • Workers at larger businesses are more stressed by work and by management than small business workers.
  • 58 percent of respondents said flexible work arrangements help workers improve work-life balance and juggle personal and work commitments. 
  • 77 percent of respondents believe flexible work arrangements can help improve productivity.

“With almost half of respondents globally reporting that their stress levels have risen in the past year and [with] work topping the chart for most likely stress trigger, it seems evident that measures to redress the mental well-being of staff need to be analyzed and evaluated as soon as possible,” the report concluded.

View an infographic summarizing the findings at "Stress Illustrated: Infographic Displays Workplace Stress Causes, Solutions." The full report is available for download.

About the Author

Laura Walter

Laura Walter was formerly senior editor of EHS Today. She is a subject matter expert in EHS compliance and government issues and has covered a variety of topics relating to occupational safety and health. Her writing has earned awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI) and APEX Awards for Publication Excellence. Her debut novel, Body of Stars (Dutton) was published in 2021.

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