Study Shows Workers Stressed About War

A weekly survey of over 25,000 employees to monitor the effects of the war in Iraq on the workforce indicate the war has significantly raised workplace stress levels, but most employees want to help those directly affected by the war, and employers have taken steps to decrease workforce anxieties.

Respondents to the eePulse Inc. survey suggested ways for employers to improve morale in the workplace such as listening to employees, providing access to updated news and information, and creating activities to promote communication within the organization.

From the months prior to the war to early April 2003, employees from various U.S. companies were asked what was affecting their energy (or motivation and engagement) levels at work via eePulse's Web-based, real-time measurement and communication tool, Measurecom. The majority of respondents said it was difficult to focus on work, stress levels towards travel were high, and they were worried about co- workers and others directly involved in the battle oversees. The employee comments also indicate that employers took immediate steps to successfully help employees deal with this anxiety. These included:

  • Posting a war web site with current updates and helpful information specific to employees
  • Creating a support group for employees to share their concerns
  • Communicating with employees on a regular basis to stop potential problems from escalating
  • Encouraging employees to stay informed via various news outlets
  • Promoting fair treatment of all employees regardless of race or religion
  • Scheduling activities to lift energy levels.

The respondents also suggested various activities to help lift employee morale such as implementing an adopt-a-soldier program, providing cost reductions on products and services for military service personnel and their families, increasing office security, offering work schedule variations, and arranging time for prayer.

"I think everyone is down because of the current war in Iraq," said one survey respondent. "I think we should have a red-white-and-blue day or a support-our-troops day! I think that will bring the morale up greatly!"

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