Stress is a state of psychological tension that lasts for a long time and causes some unpleasant emotions. Stress can be both positive and negative. While the first kind of stress stimulates adaptation mechanisms of the body, the second has a very depressive impact. Problems in personal life, relations with close people and at work – all of it is a serious test for stress resistance, which influences behavior and work capacity.
In Russia, this problem is especially relevant, as the economic situation and living conditions do not cultivate a harmonious and peaceful state of citizens. Read in our article whether our fellow citizens experience stress at the workplace, what reasons they have for it, and what it influences.
Statistics: workplace stress level in different countries
In 2017, the American Psychological Association made a research, surveying healthcare and economy workers. Around 27% of respondents said that work-related stress negatively affected their performance.
In 2018, the survey of 600,000 people conducted in the UK showed that most of them were in low spirits, felt anxiety and depressive states in connection with work. At the same time, some respondents stated that they would prefer to work four days per week instead of five.
Around 95% of Indians aged 25-35 years old report that they regularly experience tension at work. South Korea decided to reduce work hours from 68 to 52 per week due to a growing number of illnesses and suicides among employees.
In 2021, a survey of 1,600 employable citizens in Russia (58% of them were women and 42% – men) showed:
- 18-30 years old – 24%.
- 31-45 years old – 53%.
- 46-55 years old – 18%.
- above 55 years old – 5%.
You can see the diagram that answers the question, “Do you like your job?” More than a half of respondents tended to a neutrally positive answer, almost a quarter of respondents answered affirmatively. Only 17% of citizens said that they did not especially like their job.
Answering the question of whether they experience stress at the workplace, respondents provided the following feedback:
- half of surveyed face stressful situations from time to time;
- almost a quarter experience stress quite rarely;
- 17% stated that a stressful environment at work was habitual for them;
- 9% gave a negative answer.
Respondents that gave positive answers involve more women and young people aged 18-24 years old than men. Women turn to psychologists with problems at work more often, ask friends and close people for help. Men prefer to deal with stress on their own.
Talking about the reasons for stressful situations at work, one can mention conflicts with management or colleagues, low salary level, high workload. The situation looks as follows in percentage terms:
- 14% – incompetent manager, poor relations with management;
- 9% – unfavorable climate in the team, intrigues, gossips, arguments with colleagues;
- 5% – poor remuneration of labor;
- 2% – instability of the company, delayed payments, lack of clearly set tasks and job definitions.
- Around 24% of respondents note other factors such as deadlines, fear to make a mistake, problem customers, and unfavorable work conditions. Interestingly, 4% of surveyed complained about idleness and boredom during the workday, which also leads to tension and weariness.
Stress at work: what age categories are the most vulnerable?
Around 40% of surveyed who regularly experience stressful situations during the day are people aged 26-45 years old. Besides, young people aged 26-45 years old are vulnerable – 24%. The most resistant group are pensioners – 18%. The reason for such figures can be the fact that apart from work, young people often keep studying and it is an additional factor of pressure and tension. The number of employed pensioners is not so big.
Research: ways to relieve tension after a workday
How do employees usually cope with stress? The survey showed interesting results:
- 58% opt to turn for help (most of them are middle-aged people from 25 to 44 years old and young people from 18 to 24 years old);
- 42% cope with the problem on their own.
Only one-tenth of people that look for help among friends and relatives go to psychologists – it is connected with certain stereotypes. In the meantime, regular visits to a specialist is a common practice in the Western world.
Citizens of big cities choose to seek psychological help, communication with friends or family more often (69%).
Most of the people that cope with workplace problems alone are 45-59 years of age (45%) or older than 60 (58%). They are mainly men from small towns and villages.
Ways that Russian people use to relieve stress are quite diverse:
- 9% choose self-complacency methods and positive thinking;
- 9% meet friends;
- 9% prefer to find a solution to the problem that causes stress;
- 7% take antianxiety drugs;
- 6% go to the gym or jogging;
- 6% abstract themselves from the problem: read, watch films, go for walks;
- 5% drink alcohol.
Does the executive have to take measures to reduce the stress level of employees? 88% of respondents believe that yes, he does. 12% disagree that the executive has to take care of the psychological health of every employee.
Are there chances that a high level of stress can lead to termination of employment? Certainly, because according to survey findings, 80% of respondents stated that they would change the company in case their work there was associated with regular tension. However, 20% are not ready to lose the position even in stressful conditions.
Statistic data shows that almost a quarter of the surveyed changed their job because of stress factors several times per life. 39% did so once. This signifies that situations that lead to nervous tension are a “soft spot” of companies, due to which they lose valuable specialists (overall, 63% quit).
Stress as a norm of modern life
Stress is a mechanism intended to increase the adaptability of the human body. Moderate stress is useful, as it facilitates the development of new neural connections and the activation of all body systems. When a person gets nervous from time to time, he manages to develop behavior tactics for changed conditions. However, if the stress level is too high, the body stops coping with it and it can lead to exacerbation of chronic diseases, depressive states, and the loss of interest in work.
One can increase stress tolerance thanks to healthy diets, daily regimen and rest, regular unhasty walks, meditations, physical exercises.
Findings of the research allow concluding that the number of workplace stress factors is one of the reasons for low efficiency and employee turnover. The majority of Russian people of working age often experience overstress related to work. This leads to a big number of sick leaves, absenteeism, and stressful relationships in the team.
How company management can improve the situation
Even minimal efforts intended to create a comfortable environment in the team can bring results:
- development of clear job descriptions;
- creation of a simple task setting and control system;
- organization of all required conditions at workplaces;
- making sure that salaries are paid regularly;
- adherence to safety procedures and workflow norms;
- arrangement of corporate events and parties.
The reduction in the number of stress factors that influence the physical and emotional state of employees can have a favorable impact on the increase in productivity and revenue of the company.
You can learn more about the ways to improve employee wellbeing and engagement and to build a dream team at w2conference Moscow. Taking place on April 28, the event will interest HR specialists, business owners, executives, coaches, and many others.