Do you frequently feel stressed out at work? Well, you’re not alone. Our modern ‘always on’ work culture accompanied by the rise of smart technology means that workplace stress is on the rise.
According to the fifth annual survey of wellbeing undertaken by global health service company Cigna, women are seeing the highest rates.
They surveyed 13,000 people over 23 markets including the US, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, India, Canada and Turkey. The research found that internationally 84% of people believed they suffered from stress, with 13% of them unable to manage it.
Jason Sadler, president of Cigna International Markets, explained this further stating: “Women are more stressed than men, many of them are managing both the family and work. They do not feel supported enough by their employers, only half of whom offer any workplace wellness programmes. Half of the people we spoke to wanted more from their employers.”
In the UK, 79% of women reported workplace stress compared with 66% of men. The top three stressors for working women are heavy workloads (17%), personal health (13%) and financial concerns (13%).
Women aged 35-49 demonstrated the highest rates. 87% say they are stressed at work, with 64% claiming to be in an ‘always on’ work environment, where they are expected to respond to work emails in the evening or weekend.
The study comes with a stark warning for businesses: “Given that this segment is the core talent group driving businesses, their general well-being will impact the way businesses operate.”
Research has shown that work stress can lead to a variety of different medical conditions like depression, anxiety, reduced immunity, high blood pressure, headaches and substance abuse.
If employees want to protect their employees (and their business) they need to act to make sure their staff members do not face undue stress. But how can they help?
When asked what would most benefit their stress levels survey respondents were conclusive. 29% stated that flexibility was the best way of dealing with workplace stress followed by increased work security and special paid leave.