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Toiling takes its toll

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Men use more sick days for stress related illness than women. So I guess all those “mental health days” I was accused of taking back in my cubicle days were really just deflection from the male managers. Ok, not all. In fact, work place stress has been referred to as a global epidemic. It seems we’re all overwhelmed at work and feeling the pressure.

Healthcare cash plan provider Medicash recently surveyed 3000 workers and found that 20% of men admitted to taking two sick days because of stress and one in five men said they needed to drink after work most days. Yikes.

One third of women and one quarter of men said they felt stress at work. For men it was heavy workload causing the trouble and for women it was confrontation with clients.

“Small amounts of pressure at work can enhance our performance but if that pressure becomes unremitting it can seriously affect our health. Regularly feeling stressed can lead to sickness, long-term absenteeism and even a dependence on alcohol or drugs. Incorporating healthy eating and exercise into your daily routine and talking to someone about how you feel can help towards counteracting the effect of stress,” said Medicash chief executive Sue Weir.

And the cost to American employers is huge: $300 million lost annually in health costs, absenteeism and poor performance. And stress contributes in a quantifiable way to work place profitability and environment. Stress contributes to 40% of job turnover and the cost to replace the average employee is 120-200% of the salary for that position. The average cost of absenteeism for a large company is more than $3.6 million per year.

Weir continued, “Work place stress can be damaging on any level, affecting both the employee and the employer. Bosses have a duty of care and responsibility to look after their workforce and have systems in place to address stress at work. Encouraging a work/life balance, having open channels of communication between staff and manger, and providing access to counseling services are some of the things employers can do to combat stress.”

Source: University of Massachusetts Lowell, WorkPlaceLaw.net


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