Your Monthly Check-Up: Stressed Out?

Work-related stress is not a new concept, but what exactly are the implications of being stressed out at work or due to workplace factors? A recent article in Incentive Magazine addresses this issue.

In “Worker Stress is a Top Concern,” writer Alex Palmer focuses the results of a new report by UK-based health insurance company Aviva, which shows that employers are starting to take the health of their employees into greater consideration.

About two-thirds (65 percent) of employers say it’s more important than ever to protect the health of their employees, with 43 percent offering programs to encourage work-life balance, 21 percent promoting healthy eating and the same amount offering  cycle-to-work programs. These efforts have had an impact on employees: 57 percent said that if they feel healthy, they are more productive at work, while 52 percent believe that they are more loyal to a company that helped them look after their health.

While the focus on employees’ health is improving, stress is still a top concern, according to the report. Palmer’s article states that more than half – about 53 percent – of employees responded that stress is a problem within their places of employment.

“Over the years we’ve seen an increased appetite for workplace well-being,” says Mark Noble, health director for UK Life for Aviva, in the report as quoted in Palmer’s article. “Moreover, we’ve seen a gradual recognition of the importance of putting proactive solutions into place to help keep employees healthy and aid early intervention.”

Increased expectations within many of these jobs may be part of the reason for this motivation toward healthier lifestyles, according to Palmer. For some employers, it is becoming a necessity for their employees to work harder and put in more hours, which makes a case for maintaining optimal health by practicing healthy habits.

Underestimating job requirements may also be leading to increased employee stress. According to Palmer’s article, “55 percent of employees report that a high-pressure work environment has become the norm, compared to just 26 percent of employers who said the same.”

What kinds of practices are in place to help offset the effects of stress in your office? Do your employers actively promote healthy habits both at work and at home? What personal tactics do you take when you feel the effects of stress creeping in that could potentially help some of your employees or coworkers? Talk to us in the “Comments” section below!