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Stress at work

Spring 2012

Workplace stress is at the highest level for four years, a study of 60,000 workers in six countries has found. Employees in the UK felt the highest levels of stress of the countries surveyed, with 35 per cent experiencing an “unreasonable level of stress at work”, the four-year study from the Kenexa High Performance Institute found.

In Brazil, 34 per cent of respondents suffered unreasonable stress, followed by Germany (33 per cent), the US (32 per cent) and China and India (both 17 per cent). The study revealed the most common cause was work-life balance, cited by 23 per cent of respondents (see chart, below).
Workers in the healthcare sector suffered the highest level of stress, but the public sector, financial services and retail sectors have seen the largest increases in stress since the last survey, conducted in 2008.

Dr Rena Rasch, research manager at the Kenexa High Performance Institute, said: “With the economic downturn, a major cause of stress for many people is the sense that they have no control over the fate of their jobs. In organisations where staff had been made redundant, the average employee stress level was nearly 40 per cent, compared to 25 per cent for organisations that hadn’t made layoffs in the same period.”

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