42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics

ByDamjan Jugovic Spajic
June 11,2021

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.

Workplace Stress Statistics - Editor’s Choice

  • 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress.
  • US businesses lose up to $300 billion yearly as a result of workplace stress.
  • Stress causes around one million workers to miss work every day.
  • Only 43% of US employees think their employers care about their work-life balance.
  • Depression leads to $51 billion in costs due to absenteeism and $26 billion in treatment costs.
  • Work-related stress causes 120,000 deaths and results in $190 billion in healthcare costs yearly.

General Stats on Stress

55% of Americans are stressed during the day.

(Gallup)

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.

On a scale from one to 10, Americans rate their stress level as 4.9.

(APA)

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.

Americans aged 30-49 are the most stressed age group.

(Gallup)

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.

Women are more stressed out than men.

(APA)

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)

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.

52% of Generation Z in the US have been diagnosed with mental health issues.

(Everyday Health)

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.

57% of stressed out respondents are paralyzed by stress.

(Everyday Health)

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.

Statistics on Stress in the Workplace

(Everest College)

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.

In 2019, 94% of American workers reported experiencing stress at their workplace.

(Wrike)

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.

35% of respondents said their main source of stress at work was their boss.

(Korn Ferry)

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.

During 2019, 80% of workers in the US were stressed as the result of ineffective company communication.

(Dynamic Signal)

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.

63% of US workers are ready to quit their jobs due to stress.

(Dynamic Signal)

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.

In 2017, 39% of workers said that a heavy workload was their main cause of stress.

(Statista)

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%).

Over a third of people said their job was a regular source of stress in 2018.

(Everyday Health)

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.

54% of workers report that stress from work affects their life at home.

(Wrike)

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.

Work is among the top three sources of stress for Americans.

(APA)

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%).

75% of workers believe they are more stressed out than previous generations.

(NIOSH)

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.

Depression is one of the three main workplace problems for employee assistance professionals.

(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.

Only 43% of US employees think their employers care about their work-life balance.

(APA)

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.

Effects of Stress in the Workplace statistics

During 2018, 76% of US workers said that workplace stress affected their personal relationships.

(Korn Ferry)

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.

Stress caused sleep deprivation for 66% of American workers in 2018.

(Korn Ferry)

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.

16% of workers have quit their jobs due to stress.

(Korn Ferry)

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.

60% of workers have left a job or would leave one over a bad boss.

(Randstad USA)

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.

31% of surveyed US workers said that being unclear about expectations from supervisors is the most stressful element when experiencing change at work.

(Chicago Tribune)

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.

Around 46% of workers are considered joining the gig economy in 2019.

(Randstad USA)

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.

Workers say that stress and anxiety affect their work productivity and coworker relations more than any other factor.

(ADAA)

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.

51% of US workers are mentally “checked out” at work.

(Gallup)

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.

41% of stressed workers say stress leads to a loss in productivity.

(Colonial Life)

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.

Over a quarter of employees are at risk of burning out in the next 12 months.

(Wrike)

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.

Women are more likely to handle stress by eating more (46%) and talking with family and friends (44%), while men are more likely to have sex more frequently (19%) and use illicit drugs (12%).

(ADAA)

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.

Both men and women handle stress by consuming more caffeine (31%), smoking (27%), and exercising more frequently (25%).

(ADAA)

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%).

Only 40% of employees who suffer from stress have talked to their employer about it.

(ADAA)

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.

34% of workers don’t feel safe reporting stress because they think it would be interpreted as a lack of interest or unwillingness to do the activity.

(ADAA)

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%).

Only four in 10 workers who report stress to their employer are offered some kind of help.

(ADAA)

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%).

Statistics on the Cost of Workplace Stress

(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.

Companies spend around 75% of a worker’s annual salary to cover lost productivity or to replace workers.

(HuffPost)

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.

Workers who take sick days due to mental health issues are seven times more likely to have further absences than those with physical health problems.

(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.

Stress causes around one million workers to miss work every day.

(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 annual cost of lost productivity due to absenteeism tied to poor health was more than $84 billion in 2013.

(Gallup)

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.

Over 20% of workers spend more than five hours of office time weekly thinking about their stressors and their worries.

(Colonial Life)

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.

80% of US employees spend 12-20 hours per month dealing with financial concerns at work.

(IFEBP)

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.

Depression leads to $51 billion in costs due to absenteeism and $26 billion in treatment costs.

(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.

To Conclude

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.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is stress in a workplace?

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.

What causes stress at work?

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.

How does stress affect productivity?

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.

What are the signs of stress in the workplace?

According to employee assistance professionals, the warning signs of stress include taking sick days, requesting pay advancements, and resolving personal problems while at work.

What relationships at work could trigger stress?

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.

How do I stop stressing at work?

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.

What are the risks of stress in the workplace?

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.

Sources

About the author

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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Handgun sales in October 2020 rose by 65% when compared to the same period in 2019.  Video game sales amounted to $4.93 billion in July 2021, marking a 5% year-over-year increase. Toilet paper sales and fun facts about spending in the US show that demand for this product rose by 845% in 2020. 60% percent of sales reps increased their number of virtual meetings since 2015. (Salesforce) Even before the pandemic, virtual sales were on the rise, with many sales representatives reporting that they touch base with prospective customers and existing clients via video chat rather than traveling to meetings and lunches. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 62% also said they spend more time on their computers, tablets, and smartphones than they did a few years ago. These sales trends tell us that virtual selling is here to stay.        AI adoption rose 76% since 2018, with 37% of sales teams now using it. (Salesforce) As is the case in many industries, the acceleration of the digital transformation process is evident in the sales sector. Artificial intelligence or AI is one of the technologies that’s being rapidly adopted, with 37% of sales teams implementing these advanced tools globally in 2020. That marks a 76% increase since 2018. According to recent sales statistics, 77% of sales leaders and 84% of sales ops professionals claim their digital transformation has become more rapid since 2019. The AI tools also help power CRM software, which is crucial for managing customer relationships.  The use of smart sales tools has gone up by 300% since 2017. (Membrain) The substantial increase in both the types and the use of sales technology tools is being fuelled by online purchasing. Sales stats from 2017 reveal that most organizations at the time used only two main tools: CRM software and online meeting tools. Two years later, leads list/database, social selling, account targeting, and skills training and recruiting were added to the list. With six tools in regular use, the sales sector started to see more opportunities for leveraging technology to better cater to customers.  91% of consumers would like to see interactive content in marketing emails. (Hubspot) A Litmus report dubbed 2021 State of Email reveals most respondents feel that only interactive content in marketing emails can get their attention. However, only 17% of marketers actually use such content when advertising their products or services. Depending on your target audience and relevant sales information and analytics, you can add interactivity into your emails by including an embedded video, animated GIFs, a form, faux video, or carousel. Think about creative SMS content, too, or employ mass text software to help you create one with catchy phrases.  An average of 18 calls is needed to connect with buyers. (Gartner) Reaching potential buyers isn’t always easy. Consumers are generally suspicious when it comes to calls from sales reps and tend to avoid them by hanging up or not answering the phone at all. Likewise, only 23.9% of sales emails are opened, and others usually end up in a bin. The sales numbers indicate that more investment is needed into technologies that help locate potential buyers and improve the quality and quantity of communication. 60% of all contacted buyers reject the offer four times before saying yes.  (Invesp) Follow-up calls can make all the difference. But almost half of the salespeople (48%) never make a single follow-up attempt. Statistics that expose this passive trend among sales reps also indicate that consumers tend to change their minds if called at least four times. An astounding 60 percent of contacted prospects agree to buy a product or service during the fifth call, according to sales follow-up statistics compiled by the US consulting company, Invesp.  57% of people prefer buying from sales representatives that do not hassle them. (Invesp) Even though follow-ups are essential for convincing customers to purchase your product, more than half of the respondents said they prefer buying from sales representatives who aren’t too pushy. Salespeople have a reputation for hassling potential consumers, and these figures show that they would improve their chances of making a sale if they change their approach.  70% of businesses agree that retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones.  (Invesp) Prospecting statistics reveal that even though most newly established businesses have to focus on acquiring new customers, the long-run focus should be on retaining them. Namely, it costs five times as much to gain a new buyer than to keep an existing one. Unfortunately, despite the convincing figures in favor of focusing on retention, only 40% of companies and 30% of agencies cultivate the same approach to acquisition and retention.  The American auto industry was showing signs of recovery in the summer of 2021, with nearly 1.2 million cars sold in July. (Goodcarbadcar) Following a sharp decline that saw sales plummet from 17 million in 2019 to just a little over 14.5 million in 2020, the car industry started showing signs of recovery by mid 2021. But according to United States car sales statistics, the positive trend failed to extend into the spring, with only 589,743 automobiles sold in October. Those are the lowest monthly sales figures in years.  California accounts for the highest number of car sales in the US. (Statista) Research from 2019 shows that the state of California registered more than 14.8 million automobiles that year alone. The state is also the biggest market for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and for used car sales. Statistics by state reveal that Texas had the second-highest number of automobile registrations, with just over 8.3 million cars registered. Texas is followed by Florida (7.8 million) and New York (4.4 million). Handgun sales in the US in 2020 rose by 65% compared to 2019. (Statista) The US gun industry is having a good pandemic, with Americans buying handguns in record numbers. Research shows that in October 2020, around one million handguns were sold, marking a 65% increase compared to the same period in 2019. Gun sales statistics also reveal a spike in handgun sales in June 2020, when 1.511.710 items were sold. The American trade book market recorded a 9.7% increase in revenue in July 2021. (Association of American Publishers) During the pandemic-induced global lockdowns, many people turned to books. Perhaps unsurprisingly, book sales generated $750.7 million in revenue in July 2021. Reading once again became a favorite pastime in many American households, who contributed to the 9.7% growth in this sector, compared to July of 2020.  According to book sales statistics, eBook revenues in July 2021 went down 16% compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, Paperbacks went up by 30%, generating $274.3 million in revenue. Video game sales amounted to $4.93 billion in July 2021, marking a 5% year-over-year increase. (Statista) Video games had a huge 2020 with more people than ever buying and playing games during the pandemic. Sales soared to $177.8 billion - an increase of 23.1% from 2019. The future looks equally promising, with some forecasts suggesting that the global gaming market will be worth $268.8 billion by 2025. Video game sales statistics for the US market in 2021 show that the industry is maintaining its upward trajectory. 2020 has seen a significant decline in draft beer sales, while canned beer sales went up. (NBWA) The forced closures of bars and restaurants during the pandemic had a significant impact on alcohol sales. Draft beer’s share of total volume declined from 10% in 2019 to around 6% in 2020. Beer sales statistics also show that demand for canned beer rose from 60% in 2019 to 67% in 2020. At the same time, sales of beer in glass bottles remained relatively unchanged, accounting for 29% of the market share in 2019 and 28% in 2020. Toilet paper sales in the US spiked by 845% in 2020. (Business Insider) Toilet paper hoarding in 2020 resulted in a spike in sales of 845% in March 2020, compared to 2019, with a total of $1.45 billion sold in a single month. In March 2020, 73% of all grocery stores ran out of toilet paper. By May, that figure dropped to 48%. Toilet paper sales statistics in 2020 exposed a somewhat disturbing and equally commercial side of consumer behavior in times of crisis.  Girl Scout cookies sales amount to around $800 million during each cookie season. (Girl Scouts) Selling Girl Scout cookies has been a tradition in the US since 1912 and has become a lucrative business for many. Girl scouts sell about 200 million boxes of cookies each season and earn nearly $800 million in revenue. According to mouth-watering girl scout cookie sales statistics, the most popular variety is Thin Mints, followed by Samoas, Caramel deLites, and Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties.  Sales: the Bottom Line In the choppy waters and hazy horizons of the pandemic-hit world, steering your business in the right direction isn’t easy. There are many challenges facing sales teams and managers, especially when it comes to locking down customers and promoting products and services. On the other hand, some industries are doing better than ever. Business sales statistics show that demand for canned beer, video games, and guns has never been higher. But that doesn’t change the fact that the future is uncertain for everyone, and the new business world is yet to shape out.
By Danica Djokic · November 10,2021

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