Stress Overload at Work

Feb 25, 08 Stress Overload at Work

Although intuitively people know that stress can affect their health and well-being, a new study in Great Britain shows that chronic stress has a direct biological impact on our bodies. The study, published in the European Heart Journal, was with 10,000 British civil servants over a 12-year period. One of its findings was that chronically stressed workers — people determined to be under severe pressure — had a 68 percent higher risk of developing heart disease. That’s shocking. What’s particularly concerning it that the risks were particularly strong among younger people — those under 50.

In a different study, the 2007/2008 Staying at Work report, consulting firm Watson Wyatt said that almost half of U.S. employers (48 percent) recognize that stress is impacting their business. However, only five percent of these companies are taking action to address their concerns. Stress directly affects employee retention because stress overload is cited by employees as the top reason they’d leave a company. Employers on the other hand are clueless. They don’t even have stress on their radar as one of the top five reasons employees bail.

Company executives are good at weighing hard costs. They’re not so good at evaluating how soft costs affect the bottom line, which is the main reason the stress issue hasn’t come to the forefront. Based on research studies and information from the book, Stress Costs, Stress Cures by author Ravi Tangri, there is now a formula for measuring the hard costs of stress.

  • 19 percent of absenteeism
  • 40 percent of turnover
  • 55 percent of employee assistance programs
  • 30 percent of short- and long-term disability
  • 10 percent of drug plan costs
  • 60 percent of total workplace accidents
  • Total costs of workers comp and lawsuits are because of stress

Stress is a major issue. Yet it’s amazing that so many Chief Executive Officers and Chief Financial Officers focused on increasing profitability and having committed employees either sidestep the whole issue of workplace stress or they have no idea what it’s costing their companies. Again, stress isn’t an intangible cost — it’s measurable in hard dollars.

If you’re stressed at work, it’s up to you to do something about it because most likely you’re employer won’t. By exercising, following a healthy lifestyle, and doing EFT, you can reduce the negative impact of stress. EFT is a superb tool for releasing stress. You’ll get effective results by spending five minutes every morning and evening doing a few rounds of EFT to release your stress.

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