American Workers Suffer From Chronic Stress
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Despite increasing levels of stress in the workplace, the majority of businesses aren't doing enough to keep their employees mentally healthy, new research shows.
A study by the American Psychological Association's Center for Organizational Excellence revealed that more than one-third of American workers experience chronic work stress, with low salaries, lack of opportunity for advancement and heavy workloads topping the list of contributing factors.
Specifically, only 39 percent of the employees surveyed feel they have sufficient opportunities for internal career advancement and nearly half feel they aren't valued at work. In addition, less than 50 percent of employees think they receive an adequate amount of monetary compensation or nonmonetary recognition for their contributions on the job.
Despite growing awareness of the importance of a healthy workplace, just 36 percent of the employees surveyed feel their organizations provide sufficient resources to help them manage stress, while less than half said they are offered assistance from their company to meet their mental needs.
Contributing to high stress levels is the growing number of employers that don't value work-life balance. The research found that less than 40 percent of businesses provide options for flexible work, with just 30 percent offering benefits that help employees meet their nonwork demands more easily.
Overall, one-third of working Americans believe that work interfering with personal or family time has a significant impact on their level of work stress.
"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 Ballard, head of APA's Center for Organizational Excellence. "Forward-thinking organizations are re-evaluating 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."
The study was based on surveys of more than 1,500 U.S. adults over the age of 18.