9 out of 10 people will lie to their boss about this….

stress - the secret epidemicDid you know that figures from the UK suggest that 1 in 5 people calling in sick are off work as a direct result of stress.  And 9 out of 10 lied to their boss on why they were off!

Looking at those figures logically you have to assume that it’s most probably far more than 1 in 5 who got sick due to stress as many people simply don’t realise the depth and scale of the negative impact stress can have on us – psychologically and physically.  9 out of 10 people visiting their doctor are there because of stress.

Sickness absence and lost productivity, as a result of stress, was estimated to cost the UK private sector alone £26B.   Stress is the most common cause of long-term sick leave.

Does this unhappy picture look any better on the other side of the pond in the US?

The SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) conducted a study of American Work Life Balance which revealed that 89% of Americans say Work-Life Balance is a problem and of those 54% called it a “significant” problem.

As Jack Welch, former GE CEO says “There’s no such thing as Work-Life Balance.  There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.”

But it’s not just work-life balance.  It’s also about stress.  For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life.

The American Psychological Association and American Institute of Stress in NY did some research in 2012:

  • 77% of those surveyed regularly experienced physical symptoms caused by stress – most commonly fatigue – either you don’t sleep or even if you do you still feel tired, headache, catching colds/flu and upset stomach.
  • 73% of those surveyed regularly experienced psychological symptoms caused by stress – irritability, anger, anxiety, feeling down, nervousness and lack of energy.
  • 33% of people felt they were living with extreme stress.
  • Most common sources of stress were job pressure and money.
  • Annual costs to employers in stress-related health care and missed work was $300 billion.

Research commissioned by Mind, the mental health charity in UK suggest:

  • Work is the most stressful factor in people’s lives with 1 in 3 people saying their work life was either very or quite stressful, more so than debt or financial problems (30%) or health (17%).
  • Workplace stress has resulted in 7% having suicidal thoughts and 1 in 5 developing anxiety.
  • 1 in 10 have resigned from a job due to stress and 1 in 4 have considered resigning due to work pressure.
  • 1 in 5 felt they couldn’t tell their boss if they were overly stressed – they believe that if they mentioned their stress levels they would be put first in line for redundancy.
  • 50% were scared to take time off sick.
  • 7 out of 10 said their boss would not help them cope with stress.

Consider the top ten sources of workplace stress, as determined by the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health:

10. The treadmill syndrome.  Too much to do at once, requiring the 24-hour workday.
9. Random interruptions.
8. Doubt.  Employees aren’t sure what is happening, where things are headed.
7. Mistrust.  Vicious office politics disrupt positive behavior.
6. Unclear company direction and policies.
5. Career and job ambiguity.  Things happen without the employee knowing why.
4. Inconsistent performance management processes.  Employees get raises but no reviews, or get positive evaluation, but are laid off afterward.
3. Being unappreciated.
2. Lack of two-way communication.
1. Lack of control.  The feeling that they have little control over their contributions or the outcome of the work.

Want to do something about the stress you experience?  After all it’s not your job that ‘gives’ you stress.  It’s not wrapped up in a gift box and left on your desk.  Stress is about how you react to your job and your own thoughts.

Invest in yourself for 11 minutes and watch this excellent video from Dr Mike Evans …

90:10 The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Stress



One response to “9 out of 10 people will lie to their boss about this….

  1. Pingback: Eight crazy reasons for taking a sick day | The Crazy World We Live In

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