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Higher stress more likely for those invested in their jobs

Deborah Shipley's picture
Stress management

Employees in management or professional positions, that are invested in their workplace, may have a higher level of chronic stress, shows the new study published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The study was done based on a survey of 2,737 workers, aged 18 to 65 who worked in a variety of fields such as offices, manufacturing, farming, construction, and services. It was found that 18 percent of these workers thought their job was “highly stressful.”

Invested employees were considered to be those that felt that their job performance could negatively effect others, or those that worked long and variable hours for their company.

The stress levels were reported as twice as high in those employees that felt that their poor job performance could lead to a company financial loss, company equipment or reputation damage, or physical injury. The employees would feel personally responsible for these events and therefore be invested in preventing them from happening.

Dr. Carolyn Dewa, Senior Scientist and Head of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Work and Well-being Research and Evaluation Program, stated, “The people who report high stress are the ones most invested in their jobs.”

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Dewa says that employers should be asking, “What am I doing to reduce stress in my most valuable people?’”

It is important for employers to consider the stress levels in their most valuable employees and to invest in programs to reduce burnout and stress overload.

The group that reported little to no stress at work was mostly comprised of workers who were under the age of 25, male, single, and working in a small business. Feelings of satisfaction with the job was also a factor for lower stress levels.

Employers and employees both need to be aware of the necessity of addressing mental health issues in the workplace. Studies like this one bring awareness to these issues before chronic stress results in burnout, or even more serious physical and mental health complications.

For more information on the Centre for Mental Health and Addictions visit: http://www.camh.net/