Workplace stress statistics are, thankfully, becoming more discussed and transparent worldwide. Stress can cause severe mental and physical problems, and work is often the main reason people are stressed out.
The year we left behind was specific in more than one way, but it undoubtedly pilled up stress on situations that were already stressful to start with. Will 2021 be any different and how? How will the accumulated stress affect our professional and personal lives?
Raising awareness is just the first step in the right direction — but an important step. If you’d like to do your part, you can start by reading about these statistics right away.
Top Ten Alarming Stress at Work Statistics and Facts
- In 2019, nearly all Americans (94%) were under stress at work.
- Women are more prone to stress than men.
- More than half of lost working days in the US happen because of stress.
- Stress at work costs about $190 billion annually, and it takes 120,000 lives.
- In 2017, the heavy workload was the primary workplace stressor (39%) in the US.
- Some 54% of employees say that they bring their work-related stress and anxiety home.
- Turnover costs are very high (from 50% to 75% of an employee’s yearly salary).
- Tight deadlines are the most significant stressors for most employees (55%).
- A minority of workers under stress admit how they feel to their employers (40%).
- Employees with anxiety mostly use prescribed or OTC medication to ease the symptoms (52%).
General Stress Statistics Worldwide
To understand work-related stress, one has to understand stress first. Although it is often dismissed, stress can have serious consequences on our mental and physical health. These are the numbers and information you need to know about dealing with stress.
1. About a million workers call in sick every day.
A colossal study gathered information from 300 companies, and about 800,000 employees were questioned. The study confirmed that people were absent from work three times more in 2000 than in 1996, all because of stress.
2. Women are more prone to stress than men.
According to the American Psychological Association’s national stress statistics from 2017, women experience higher stress levels. These levels increased from 5.0 to 5.1 in just one year. On the other hand, men had lower stress levels than they did in 2016 (4.4 compared to 4.6).
Women are also more prone to chronic pain, and stress is what causes it frequently. If you want to learn more about chronic pain statistics, you can read about them here.
3. In 2004 and 2005, about 509,000 employees in the U.K. suffered from a job anxiety disorder.
Many people develop a form of mental illness due to work, whether it is anxiety from work or work-related depression. The workers from this survey said that they believe their previous or current job was at fault for their condition.
There were six surveys like these, where Great Britain’s employees talked about their mental condition, and stress was at the top of the list among all the complaints.
Experiencing stress in the workplace every day is what causes many people to become entrepreneurs. Those interested in entrepreneur stats can read more here.
4. Some 54% of employees say that they bring their work-related stress and anxiety home.
Nobody wants that, but sometimes, it is inevitable. Even the happiest of families have arguments when one of the family members comes home angry or stressed out from work.
If this wasn’t troublesome already, Wrike also reports that more than 50% of workers even lose sleep because of stress. Stress truly impacts all aspects of our life, whether we realize it or not.
5. A minority of workers under stress admit how they feel to their employers (40%).
More than half of anxious workers won’t admit the problem because they’re afraid of how their bosses might react. Here are the related stress at work statistics you should know about.
- 34% of employees fear their stress will be mistaken for lack of motivation
- 31% of them think they will appear weak
- 22% of them said they fear it will have an impact on their possible promotion
- Another 22% felt their stress-related complaints would go in their file
- 20% thought they would be ridiculed
The US Stress in the Workplace Statistics
Given the size and success of its economy, it is not surprising that the US is facing rampant workplace stress numbers and learning how to deal with their consequences. These are just some of them.
6. Most Americans (83%) felt stress at work in 2013.
(Globe News Wire)
It is probably one of the most alarming stress in the workplace stats. The 2013 Everest College survey that brought these results asked over 1000 employed people, so this is a relatively realistic number. You probably wonder if the numbers decreased or increased over the years — it wouldn’t be hard to guess.
7. In 2019, nearly all Americans (94%) were under stress at work.
Of course, the numbers went up drastically. It’s one of the scariest stress statistics in 2019. Most people who read this will probably realize that they, too, have experienced workplace stress at some point. If you don’t think you have, know that you’re fortunate.
8. More than half of lost working days in the US happen because of stress.
The United States has an estimated 550 million working days lost each year. About 20% of these sudden calling-in-sick situations are related to job stress. These unexpected instances cost US companies around $600 per employee every year. Furthermore, the losses can amount to over $3.5 million in damages for huge companies.
Although not that recent, it might be interesting to know that a study from 1997 showed that around 60% of all absences in big corporations were a direct result of mental issues stemming from anxiety caused by work. So, it’s definitely not a new thing.
9. In 2017, heavy workload was the primary workplace stressor (39%) in the US.
Most employees were stressed because of too much work, but issues with coworkers weren’t far behind; about 31% of employees reported this as the most significant stressor.
Up next, 19% of the respondents said they couldn’t find a balance between their personal and professional lives. Only 6% were worried about job security, and 5% weren’t stressed at all.
10. Turnover costs are very high (from 50% to 75% of an employee’s yearly salary).
It costs a lot to train a new employee, and the productivity loss is enormous. Losing an employee can cost up to a whopping 213% of the salary for highly qualified positions. The company needs to advertise their open position, cover the cost of interviews, and finally, cover the new employee’s training.
11. Stress at work costs about $190 billion annually in health care, and it takes 120,000 lives.
(Center for Workplace Mental Health)
According to workplace stress statistics, this amount makes up almost 8% of national health care spending. The total sum consists of high work demands, the lack of insurance, and conflicts brought to the family because of work ($48 billion, $40 billion, and $24 billion respectively).
Effects and Causes of Workplace Stress
We’ve all been annoyed at work for some reason or another. Deadlines are always stressful, of course. But, what is the line that has to be crossed for this minor annoyance to turn into a health hazard? What causes workplace stress?
Apart from the causes and prevention, one has to be able to recognize the effects of stress in the workplace in order to combat it successfully and prevent future problems.
12. Tight deadlines are the most significant stressors for most employees (55%).
According to ADAA, employees are most stressed because of their intense schedules. Besides that, the culprits are relations with other employees (53%), staff management (50%), and everyday problems that occur at work (49%).
13. People are often afraid they will be fired from their job, which is another stress factor.
The Help Guide provided some more practical reasons why people are so prone to depression from work and stress. Many people have to work overtime, and in less developed countries, they don’t get paid for that.
Moreover, staff cutbacks are often causing the remaining employees to work twice as hard. Being unable to keep up and meet their employers’ unrealistic expectations makes employees feel overwhelmed, disorganized, and, naturally, worried about their performance.
14. Many women (46%) are prone to stress eating when under work-related stress.
Stress eating is not exactly a healthy coping mechanism. Men do it too, but less frequently than women (27%). However, women often vent to their friends or family, which is healthy. Men do it way less (21% of them, compared to 44% women), and tend to keep their worries to themselves.
15. Women and men mostly develop bad habits because of stress.
Workplace stress statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America reveal some bad habits caused by stress at work:
- People consume more caffeine than they usually would (31%)
- Also, they smoke more often (27%)
- They take OTC or prescribed medication (23%)
- They consume more alcohol (20%)
- Men use sex and drugs for coping with stress more often than women (19% and 12% compared to 10% and 2% respectively).
There’s one good habit for both men and women, though. About 25% of workers under stress exercise more.
16. Employees with anxiety mostly use prescribed or OTC medication to ease the symptoms (52%).
Sadly, the coping mechanisms for work-related anxiety aren’t very healthy either, for the most part. Here are the rest of them:
- Sleeping takes the second spot (50%)
- Overeating is in the third spot (39%)
- Luckily, talking to loved ones follows (38%)
- And so does talking to a professional (37%)
Also, one of the best ways to relieve stress and anxiety is CBD. We dedicated a whole article to CBD statistics, which are very interesting and informative.
17. On average, around 20 American workers are murdered weekly in the workplace.
Knowing the following facts justifies anxiety about work. Homicide is the number two cause of all workplace deaths in the US. What’s even more terrifying is that it’s the number one cause of female workplace deaths.
About 18,000 non-fatal violent crimes without casualties occur weekly in American workplaces. These crimes include rapes, beatings, and other acts of terror. The yearly crime figures sum up to approximately a million.
How many people suffer from stress at work?
The answer to this question is straightforward, even though the numbers are difficult to track. Almost everyone suffers from stress at work, as confirmed in a study conducted by Wrike. They questioned over 1,600 workers in the United Kingdom and the United States.
About 94% of the participants said they felt stressed in the workplace, and nearly 33% felt incredibly stressed out.
How does stress affect productivity?
Stress has an immense effect on productivity in just about any company. Here are some of the most prominent effects of stress in the workplace:
- The quality of work decreases with pressure, and so does morale
- Stress may lead to tardiness, because employees have difficulties sleeping, or simply because they want to delay working
- Turnovers are much more frequent in stressful workplaces because people seek jobs with less stress
- Coworker interactions are also affected by stress, which may harm the overall productivity
What does stress in the workplace look like?
Many things can cause work-related stress, but here are some of the most common stressors in larger and smaller companies (over 1000 and less than 1000 workers):
- Bad communication (41% and 40%)
- Coworkers not putting enough effort into group projects (40% and 27%)
- Bottlenecking (27% and 25%)
- Impossible deadlines (26% and 21%)
- Having too much work (23% and 27%)
What is the number 1 cause of stress?
For many years, the leading causes of stress used to be finances and work, according to the APA. However, in 2017 a new stressor topped this list. It was a fear for the future of America (63%).
Money and work followed closely (62% and 61% respectively), while the political climate of the time wasn’t far behind either (57%). Crime and violence were surprisingly less stress-inducing than all of the above (51%).
The workplace stress statistics we covered today are worrisome, especially since the numbers seem to be going up steadily.
Modern times are very fast-paced and unpredictable, which admittedly has an impact on the amount of stress we feel. At least, people are more aware these days, and hopefully, that will only improve over time.
Stress and anxiety at work can lead to severe problems, harm family relations, affect physical and mental health, and seriously alter one’s behavior. If you ever feel stressed out, talk to your loved ones, or seek professional help.