Just How Bad Is Work-Related Chronic Stress In the USA?
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Just How Bad Is Work-Related Chronic Stress In the USA?

APA Survey Finds U.S. Employers Unresponsive to Employee Needs

Women Feel Less Valued, Have Fewer Opportunities at Work

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — More than 33% of American workers experience chronic work stress, with low salaries, lack of opportunity for advancement and heavy workloads topping the list of contributing factors, according to a new national survey by the American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence.

On the heels of the recession, many employees appear to feel stuck, with only 39% citing sufficient opportunities for internal career advancement with 51% saying they feel valued at work.

Stress Management Resources Lacking

Despite growing awareness of the importance of a healthy workplace, only 36% said their organizations provide sufficient resources to help them manage stress and 44% said the same about meeting their mental health needs.

In fact, only 59% reported having adequate employer-provided health insurance.

Just 42% of employees said their

organizations promote and support a healthy lifestyle and only 36% reported regularly participating in workplace health and wellness programs.

With 65% of U.S. adults citing work as a significant source of stress in APA’s most recent Stress in America survey and 35% of working Americans reporting that they typically feel stressed during the workday, employers need to provide resources to help their employees face work-related challenges.

“This isn’t just an HR or management issue,” said Norman B. Anderson, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association.

“The well-being of an organization’s workforce is a strategic business imperative that is linked to its performance and success.”

Women Still Face Disparities at Work

Despite many advances for women in the workplace, the office still doesn’t feel like a level playing field for many women who reported feeling less valued than men (48% of women vs. 54% of men).

Less than half of employed women (43%) said they receive adequate monetary compensation for their work, compared to 48% of employed men.

Further, fewer employed women than men reported that their employer

provides sufficient opportunities for internal career advancement (35% vs. 43%) or resources to help them manage stress (34% vs. 38%).

Though employed women were more likely than men to report having good mental health (86% vs. 76%), more women said they typically feeling tense or stressed out at work (37% vs. 33%).

Work-Life Fit and Flexibility Lagging

Only 52% of American workers believe their employers value work-life balance, which comes as no surprise, as just 39% reported that their employers provide options for flexible work and 30% said their employers provide benefits that help them more easily meet their non-work demands.

Only 37% of women reported regularly using employee benefits designed to help them meet demands outside the office,

compared to almost half of men (46%) and just 38% of women said they regularly utilize flexible work arrangements, compared to 42% of men.

Overall, one third of working Americans (33%) said that work interfering during personal or family time has a significant impact on their level of work stress and one in four reported that job demands interfere with their ability to fulfill family or home responsibilities.

“When employers acknowledge that employees have responsibilities and lives outside of work, they can take steps to promote a good work-life fit and help individuals better manage these multiple demands,” said David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, head of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence.

“Forward-thinking organizations are reevaluating work practices, providing employees with resources that support well-being and performance and applying new technologies that help shift work from somewhere we go from 9 to 5 to something we do that is meaningful and creates value.”

APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence and Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards

To showcase employers who value employee well-being and understand its link to organizational performance, the American Psychological Association will present its 8th annual Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards in Washington, DC, on Saturday, 9-March-2013.

For full details visit the APA Center for Organizational Excellence website.

The Center also offers the following resources for employers…

Self-help resources…

Good Company newsletter, blog and podcast, featuring tips, tools and other resources to help employers create a healthy, high-performing work environment

Latest information…

A searchable database of professional, academic and popular press literature related to employee well-being and organizational performance

Case studies…

Case examples and best practices from award-winning organizations

Online Education…

Webcasts and online courses for human resource professionals, benefits managers, health and wellness professionals, organizational consultants and business leaders

Community Calendar…

A calendar of events with information about conferences from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, human resources, health promotion and employee benefits

Connect with APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About the Survey

APA’s Work & Well-Being Survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Psychological Association between January 9–21, 2013 among 1,501 adults aged 18+ who reside in the U.S. who are either employed full-time, part-time or self-employed.

A full methodology and more information about the 2013 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award winners and Best Practices Honorees are available online at http://www.apaexcellence.org/media.

What Are Your Thoughts??

  Though many work places are beginning to recognize the benefits of reducing chronic stress in teh workplace, it is hardly at the top of the scale when it comes to priorities. Do you beleive this shold be the #1 issue to be resolved? Or perhaps some stress at work is a good motivator?

  Many things get affected by work-related chrinic stress, and it doesn’t stop at the work desk. Some have even started their own groups, independent of work. If you are part of such a group, how is this benefiting hte employes the employers? Are the employers supportive?

  With the changes coming in reduced workforce, unhealthy economy, and shortage of skiled workers, the chronic stress may be part of the landscape for quite a while. What are your suggetions for stemming this tide?

Please share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below!

More on This Topic

About The American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association, located in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 137,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.

SOURCE American Psychological Association

Sophie Bethune, American Psychological Association, +1-202-336-6134, [email protected]

Luana Bossolo, American Psychological Association, +1-202-336-5899, [email protected]

Web Site : http://www.APAhelpcenter.org

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