According to a recent survey of 2,000 workers by one of the nation’s top EAP providers, 60% of employees reported that they experienced high levels of stress. Another 32% said they experienced “constant, but manageable levels”. In other words, over 90% of employees deal with many levels of stress at work.
The same survey reported that 33% of workers felt they lost an hour a day of productivity due to stress. Over 25% said they missed 3-6 days of work per year due to it. Almost half of those surveyed said that from 1-5 days per year, they come to work too stressed to be productive.
Work stress is a fact of life.
However, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. As seen above, work stress can cost us productivity. But there is also another kind. The “I know we have a lot to get done in the next 4 hours to meet the deadline but I think we can do it” kind. This kind can sometimes even be helpful. It can help clarify our thinking and crystallize the execution of creative ideas.
As leaders and managers, how can we know which kind of stress we are cultivating? The easiest way is by talking openly about it. Creating a culture that celebrates open conversation about self-care and mental health (see CEO Ben Congleton’s recent email) isn’t about coddling employees. It’s about increasing productivity, efficiency, and profitability.
Written By: Eric McClerren, LAPC