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Workers More Stressed Than They Were 5 Years Ago


There are varying reasons, but workers are more stressed today than they were five years ago.

More than three-quarters (76%) of the 1,951 respondents to a Korn Ferry survey said stress at work has hurt their personal relationships and 66% said they have lost sleep because of work stressors. In addition,16% said they’ve had to quit a job due to stress.

65% said they are more stressed today than they were five years ago. 

The survey also points to stress triggers. The largest percentage of respondents (35%) said their boss is their biggest stressor at work, and more than three-quarters (80%) said a change in organizational leadership (e.g., new boss or division head) affects their stress level.

“There are many factors that cause increased stress levels at work, including keeping up with changes in technology, increased workloads and interpersonal conflict,” said Dennis Baltzley, Korn Ferry senior partner and global head of Leadership Development Solutions. “Obviously the capacity to deal with stress will vary from individual to individual, but organizations can take steps to help mitigate stress, such as offering training on new technologies and development for managers on how best to lead.”

The survey also found that a heavy workload is less stressful than looking for something to do. More than three-quarters (79%) of respondents said not having enough work is more stressful than having too much work. When considering balancing work and pay, nearly three-quarters (74%) said they would prefer more work but more compensation to less work and less compensation.

“There is the old adage that if you want something done, ask a busy person,” Baltzley said. “And while most professionals thrive on rewarding and challenging tasks, it’s critical that they have work-life balance to stay healthy and productive. Employers should be mindful of creating a work environment that offers employees clear, attainable goals.”

When it comes to talking about what is stressing them out at work, the professionals were split, with 47% saying they would confide in a co-worker, and 53% saying they would not.

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