Stress, depression, and anxiety are, unfortunately, part of the modern human condition. Global statistics show that an increasing amount of people are struggling with mental health issues. Thankfully, we’re now talking more openly about these problems than ever before.
Workplace stress makes up a significant part of the general mental health crisis. Changes in the economy and increased financial concerns translate into pressure at work. Workplace stress statistics reveal that heavy workloads, deadlines, and demanding bosses all contribute to the problem. Stress due to work, if left untreated, can cause serious mental health problems for employees. There’s a financial burden, too; stress can lead to serious drops in productivity and end up costing a huge amount for both private companies and governments.
We’ve compiled these statistics concerning stress in the workplace to show you just how big a problem work-related stress is.
Americans are among the most stressed out populations in the world. Drawing from Gallup’s 2019 data on emotional states, over half of the American population experience stress during the day. This is 20% higher than the world average of 35%. According to these stress stats, the US is getting closer and closer to Greece, whose population has been the most stressed out in the world since 2012, with 59% of Greeks experiencing stress daily.
American Psychological Association stress statistics from 2014 show that US citizens rated their stress level as 4.9 on a scale from one to 10. This was an improvement from 2007, when the rating was a disturbing 6.2.
Drawing from Gallup’s poll on stress levels between different age groups, we can see that 65% of the 30-49 group experiences stress. Americans aged 15-29 are right behind them with 64%, while 44% of people older than 50 reported feeling stressed out.
The gender gap seems to be present when it comes to stress, too. According to the APA Stress in America 2016 survey, on a scale of one to 10, women described their stress levels as 5.1, compared to stress levels of 4.4 among men.
Everyday Health’s United States of Stress research reveals some concerning data. Current statistics about stress in the workplace indicate that over a third of all US respondents have visited a doctor for stress-related problems in the past year. Among those who have a diagnosed mental health condition, 54% visited a doctor.
There is a noticeable generation gap between baby boomers and Gen Z in terms of stress. While 52% of Gen Z has been diagnosed with mental health issues, only 41% of baby boomers have been.
Data from United States of Stress research conducted by Everyday Health indicates that 57% of those who experience stress are paralyzed by it. On the other hand, the other 43% stated that stress invigorates them.
A shocking statistic for sure, but nobody is really that surprised. Everest College’s comprehensive survey shows that the overwhelming majority of US workers are stressed as a result of work. This clearly indicates the magnitude of the problem in the US and that one of the major causes for it is stress in the workplace.
According to Wrike’s United States stress statistics from 2019, only 6% of workers didn’t report feeling stressed at work. Around 23% of them described their stress levels as high, while 6% said their levels of stress were unreasonably high. This statistic indicates that working in a stressful working environment is the rule, not the exception.
Bosses and management in general seem to be a major cause of stress for workers. Over a third of surveyed US workers cited their boss as the main source of their work-related stress. Also, 80% of workers covered in the survey said leadership changes affect their levels of stress.
Stress in the workplace statistics from 2019 keep bearing grim news. Dynamic Signal conducted a survey among more than 1,000 US workers, with 80% of them reporting being stressed out because of poor communication practices by their employers, a 30% increase from the previous year.
The 2019 State of Employee Communication and Engagement study conducted by Dynamic Signal also reveals how many workers are on the edge of quitting their jobs because of stress. Nearly two-thirds of the surveyed workers - 63%, to be precise - are ready to quit their jobs as a result of workplace stress.
Research conducted by Statista in 2017 highlights the main causes of workplace stress. Workload was the main cause for stress for 39% of workers, while the other major sources in the workplace were interpersonal issues (31%), juggling work and personal life (19%), and job security (6%).
Everyday Health’s 2018 workplace stress stats show that over 30% of all respondents marked their job or careers as regular causes of stress. Among millenials and Gen Z, this statistic jumps to 44%, further proving that stress is on the rise among younger generations and presents a larger global problem than it did 20 or 30 years ago.
Stress in the workplace stats published by Wrike indicate that 54% of workers say workplace stress impacts their home life in a negative way. Work-related stress not only influences our careers and how we feel and perform on the job; it affects our whole life.
The American Psychological Association conducted a survey in 2017 to determine stress levels and the main sources of stress for Americans. In a multi-choice survey the most common source of stress was “the future of our nation” (63%), followed by money (62%) and work (61%).
As our previous stats have indicated, younger generations seem to be struggling with stress significantly more than older ones. Research by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on workplace stress statistics over the years shows that 75% of workers think they are experiencing more stress than previous generations did.
(Mental Health America)
Aside from stress, depression is a major concern when talking about mental health in the workplace. According to depression stats provided by Mental Health America, depression is one of the three biggest problems for employee assistance professionals, with family crisis and stress being the first two.
Under half of workers covered by this APA survey from 2011 believed their employers took their work-life balance into consideration. Stats like these indicate how severe the schism between employees and employers is in the US.
This is another statistic that demonstrates just how much workplace stress affects other areas of our life. According to research by Korn Ferry, the majority of stressed employees reported that workplace stress has impacted upon their personal relationships in a negative manner.
It goes without saying that stress impacts health. Two-thirds of respondents involved in Korn Ferry’s study said they had trouble sleeping as a consequence of work-related stress. Mental health in the workplace statistics clearly show that this reduces worker productivity and leads to even more stress.
Increasing amounts of stress create unbearable working conditions for some. Almost every one in six workers (16%) has quit a job as a result of work-related stress.
As we’ve already mentioned, bosses are the main source of stress at work. When we look at the stress statistics in the workplace provided by Randstad USA, we can see that over half of workers have already quit or would quit their job if they had a bad boss.
Of 2,000 respondents who participated in the survey, 620 (31%) said that not being clear about expectations from upper management is the most stressful aspect of undergoing changes at their workplace. Once again, stress workplace statistics confirm that management-worker relations seem to be one of the most prominent factors for workplace stress.
The gig economy is on the rise. Nowadays, more and more workers prefer to work independently, be their own boss, and determine their own schedule. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that a considerable number of workers want to switch over to the gig economy in order to reduce their work-related stress. Randstad USA’s statistics about stress in the workplace reveal that almost half (46%) of surveyed workers considered switching over to the gig economy during 2019.
One of the most comprehensive surveys concerning stress and anxiety in the workplace comes from the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America). According to workplace productivity statistics from the ADAA, workers identify workplace productivity (56%) and relationships with coworkers and peers (51%) as being affected the most by stress and anxiety.
Gallup’s State of the American Workplace survey looked at how engaged US workers are in the workplace. The study found more than 50% of workers are not engaged at work as a result of stress, leading to a loss of productivity.
Stress negatively impacts how we perform and function both in the workplace and in our daily lives. As a recent survey conducted by Colonial Life shows, 41% of workers say stress has caused a drop in work productivity. Furthermore, stress statistics in the workplace also reveal that a third of surveyed employees say stress leads to lower engagement levels at work, while 15% say increasing pressure at work has pushed them into looking for other jobs.
Being under stress for prolonged periods of time can have serious consequences. It sometimes leads to burnout, when someone reaches a tipping point where he or she is unable to work at all. Burning out doesn’t only affect people’s work; it can also lead to serious mental health issues. According to Wrike’s 2019 US workplace stress statistics, if current stress levels don’t change, more than a third of stressed office workers feel they will burn out in the next 12 months.
There are significant differences in how men and women manage stress at the workplace. Women tend to eat more (46% of women compared to 27% of men) and talk with friends and family (44% compared to 21%). On the other hand, men are more likely to have sex more frequently (19% compared to 10%), while 12% of men cope by using illicit drugs, compared to only 2% of women.
With ever-increasing levels of stress, it's important to look at how we manage when things get tough. As these statistics on workplace stress by the ADAA suggest, the genders have some things in common when it comes to handling stress, although it’s fair to say these aren’t always the healthiest methods. The most common methods are consuming more caffeine (31%), followed by smoking (27%) and exercise (25%).
Statistics for stress in the workplace tell us that most workers don’t feel comfortable reporting stress-related problems at work. Less than half of surveyed employees have told their employers about the work-related stress they’re experiencing.
There are several reasons why workers don’t talking about stress with their employers. The most prominent one is that they think it will be interpreted as a lack of interest or unwillingness to do the activity (34%), followed by fear of being “weak” (31%), then because they worry it will affect promotion opportunities (22%).
When workers do end up asking for help, the response they receive is not great. Statistics on US stress in the workplace say only 40% of employees are offered help by their employers. Usually this help consists of being referred to a mental health professional (26%) or being offered a stress-management class (22%).
(Center for Workplace Mental Health)
Both the human and financial costs of stress are enormous. Statistics for workplace stress show that around 120,000 people die each year from work-related stress. The cost of stress in the workplace also drains the US budget, resulting in healthcare costs of around $190 billion per year. This represents between 5% and 8% of the total national healthcare spending.
As previously mentioned, stress leads to a loss of productivity and can drive workers to quit their jobs. Aside from the obvious health costs for workers, stress can seriously impact company budgets. Workplace stress and lost productivity statistics indicate that it can cost up to 75% of a worker’s yearly salary to cover productivity costs or to hire new workers.
(Mental Health Foundation)
Depression in the workplace statistics from 2016 research by the UK Mental Health Foundation highlight just how much stress affects the workforce. According to this data, if a worker takes a sick day due to stress or other mental health issues, they are seven times more likely to take additional sick days than a worker with physical issues.
(American Institute of Stress)
Work-related stress causes a whopping one million workers to call in sick daily. When tied in with the costs of absenteeism, we can begin to understand how heavily workplace stress affects our economy.
The cost of absenteeism to the general US economy is immense. Stress related illness statistics reveal that in 2013 alone, the cost of lost productivity due to being away from work was over $84 billion.
Stress not only affects productivity by worsening the quality and rate of work performed; it also takes up a significant portion of employees’ work time. More than 20% of workers involved in a 2016 Colonial Life survey said that they spend more than five hours weekly thinking about what stresses them.
United States stress statistics gathered by Benefits magazine show that stress can travel both ways in terms of work-life balance. Just as work-related stress carries over to our personal lives, so too does stress stemming from our personal life affect our work. The majority of US employees (80%) spend anywhere from 12 to 20 hours per month thinking about financial worries.
(Mental Health America)
When left untreated, depression is as costly as AIDS or heart disease. Back in 2000, the annual cost of depression in terms of productivity and treatment was $51 billion and $26 billion respectively. This figure has surely risen since, given the increasing number of people who are experiencing mental health issues.
What do the stats tell us? Well, it’s bad out there. We’re progressively getting more stressed at work. Our bosses annoy us, there’s too much work, and time is short. And when things get out of control, the human and financial costs of work-related stress are horrific. These rising levels of stress at work are closely connected to shifts in the global economy that have resulted in decreased financial and job security. This explains why so many people are switching over to the gig economy.
So, what can be done? First of all, employee-employer relations need to improve. Workers believe that employers expect too much of them and they feel they can’t talk about their work-related stress in the office. Employers also need to pay more attention to mental health issues among their employees. As our workplace stress statistics have shown, if things don’t improve, workers in the US and abroad have a grim future ahead of them.
Workplace stress refers to harmful mental and physical duress caused by various factors at work. When we look at stress in the workplace statistics over the years, we can see that workplace stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and other serious mental issues.
The most common causes of stress at work are strained relations between employees and bosses or managers, as well as workload and deadlines. All of these contribute to general employee stress levels.
As our stats show, some people are motivated by stress, but for the majority of workers it causes a drop in productivity. Stress causes employees to lose precious office time thinking about their worries, the quality of their work worsens, and they sometimes have to take sick days.
According to employee assistance professionals, the warning signs of stress include taking sick days, requesting pay advancements, and resolving personal problems while at work.
Relationships with the boss, upper management, and peers can all cause stress in the workplace. As we’ve mentioned, the employee-boss relationship is the biggest source of stress for workers.
You should identify your stressors, develop professional and healthy responses for them, find ways to relax, and consider talking to a health professional. We believe these are the best possible options when looking at how to handle stress at work.
Workplace stress statistics show that stress can lead to a loss of productivity, burning out, and confrontations at work. If left untreated it can cause depression, anxiety, and other serious mental health issues.
Damjan won’t tell you how to run your business, but he will try to advise you on how to save your money and avoid financial ruin. As a staff writer at SmallBizGenius, he focuses on finding the most consumer-friendly services available and provides advice to both established and fledgling businesses out there.
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