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% of workers extremely stressful
% of workers who report they are often burnet out or stressed
The nature of work is changing at whirlwind speed. Perhaps now more than ever before, job stress poses a threat to the health of workers and, in turn, to the health of organizations. Three out of every four American workers describe their work as stressful. And the problem is not limited to these shores. In fact, occupational stress has been defined as a "global epidemic" by the United Nations' International Labor Organization.

What is Job Stress?

Job stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources,  or needs of the worker. Job stress can lead to poor health and even injury.

What are the Causes of Job Stress?

Nearly everyone agrees that job stress results from the interaction of the worker and the conditions of work. Views differ, however, on the importance of worker characteristics versus working conditions as the primary cause of job stress. Generally, we can identify these job conditions that may lead to stress:

The Design of Tasks,  Management Style, Interpersonal Relationships,, Work Roles, Career Concerns, Environmental Conditions.

Job Stress and Health

Stress sets off an alarm in the brain, which responds by preparing the body for defensive action. The nervous system is aroused and hormones are released to sharpen the senses, quicken the pulse, deepen respiration, and tense the muscles. This response (sometimes called the fight or flight response) is important because it helps us defend against threatening situations. The response is preprogrammed biologically. Everyone responds in much the same way, regardless of whether the stressful situation is at work or home.

 

Short-lived or infrequent episodes of stress pose little risk. But when stressful situations go unresolved, the body is kept in a constant state of activation, which increases the rate of wear and tear to biological systems.

Ultimately, fatigue or damage results, and the ability of the body to repair and defend itself can become seriously compromised. As a result, the risk of injury or disease escalates.

In the past 20 years, many studies have looked at the relationship between job stress and a variety of ailments. Mood and sleep disturbances, upset stomach and headache, and disturbed relationships with family and friends are examples of stress-related problems that are quick to develop and are commonly seen in these studies. These early signs of job stress are usually easy to recognize. But the effects of job stress on chronic diseases are more difficult to see because chronic diseases take a long time to develop and can be influenced by many factors other than stress. Nonetheless, evidence is rapidly accumulating to suggest that stress plays an important role in several types of chronic health problems—especially cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and psychological disorders.

Stress, Health, and Productivity

Some employers assume that stressful working conditions are a necessary evil— that companies must turn up the pressure on workers and set aside health concerns to remain productive and profitable in today’s economy. But research findings challenge this belief. Studies show that stressful working conditions are actually associated with increased absenteeism, tardiness, and intentions by workers to quit their jobs—all of which have a negative effect on the bottom line.

Recent studies of so-called healthy organizations suggest that policies benefiting worker health also benefit the bottom line.

 

A healthy organization is defined as one that has low rates of illness, injury, and disability in its workforce and is also competitive in the marketplace. Examples of these characteristics include the following:

• Recognition of employees for good work performance

• Opportunities for career development

• An organizational culture that values the individual worker

• Management actions that are consistent with organizational values

Cost of Stress at Work

While the physical effects of this epidemic are often emphasized, the economic consequences also are alarming. Workplace stress costs U.S. employers an estimated $125 to $190 billion dollars a year—representing 5 to 8 percent of national spending on health care.  This amount spent in absenteeism, lower productivity, staff turnover, workers' compensation, medical insurance and other stress-related expenses. Considering this, stress management may be business's most important challenge of the 21st century.

Sixty percent of lost workdays each year can be attributed to stress. In addition, an estimated 75 to 90 percent of visits to health care providers are due to stress-related conditions, costing employers in increased health care costs. The Wall Street Journal reported that one third of people surveyed considered quitting their jobs because of stress and 14 percent actually did.

Zen at Work 
Corporate Wellbeing Solutions
We offer a comprehensive range of solutions designed to improve your staff wellbeing.
A healthy workforce is a more productive workforce!
Stress is the biggest hindrance to productivity, efficiency and even profitability. It can lead to absenteeism, low morale and increases staff turnover. The solution: Implement workplace wellbeing. It is one of the few areas that you can invest in your organization to yield positive returns.
Organizations can choose from the following services:
 
  • Understand the causes of stress within your organisation through a Business Stress Risk Review
  • Diagnostic, Business and Individual Stress Risk Review
  • Start tackling the problem with a stress or mental health policy and action plan
  • Book training for managers or staff to help them cope with stress or recognise it in their teams
  • Book wellbeing days at your organisation, from on-site stress testing or stress awareness events to pamper days
  • Effective solutions for stress reduction to use in site 
  • Workshops: Managing stress for staff and management
  • Intervention: Focus Groups and Individual Stress Coaching Session.
Through these solutions, we can help you to reduce absenteeism, boost staff morale and increase productivity and efficiency.
Corporate Zen, reducing stress at work, increasing performig
% of wokers extremely stressed at work
Lila Lotus specialized in Alternative Healing, Energy Healing, Mindfulness, and Spiritual Counseling

By 1995, nearly one-half of the States allowed worker compensation claims for emotional disorders and disability due to stress on the job [note, however, that courts are reluctant to uphold claims for what can be considered ordinary working conditions or just hard work.

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Health care expenditures are nearly 50% greater for workers who report high levels of stress.

—Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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Job Stress and Health

What the Research Tells Us

Cardiovascular Disease

Many studies suggest that psychologically demanding jobs that allow employees little control over the work process increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Job stress increases the risk for development of back and upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders.

Psychological Disorders

Several studies suggest that differences in rates of mental health problems (such as depression and burnout) for various occupations are due partly to differences in job stress levels. (Economic and lifestyle differences between occupations may also contribute to some of these problems.)

Workplace Injury

Although more study is needed, there is a growing concern that stressful working conditions interfere with safe work practices and set the stage for injuries at work.

Suicide, Cancer, Ulcers, and Impaired Immune Function

Some studies suggest a relationship between stressful working conditions and these health problems. However, more research is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn.

—Encyclopaedia of Occupational Safety and Health

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According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers who must take time off work because of stress, anxiety, or a related disorder will be off the job for about 20 days.

—Bureau of Labor Statistics