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More than a quarter of employees overstressed at work

15:12 23/06/2015

More than a quarter of employees in Belgium (28.2%) regularly experience some form of work-related stress, according to the results of a survey by HR company SD Worx. This alarming trend often translates into higher costs for companies as more stressed employees take long-term leave from work, says SD Worx.

The survey, which takes into account the responses of 2,500 employed people in Belgium, shows that 15.4% of the employees who experience prolonged stress at work are absent from their job for at least 30 days each year. Of the employees not suffering from too much stress at work, only 4.4% are absent as long.

The stress perception, according to the researchers, is influenced by several factors, especially the working conditions (81%), but the social relations within the organisation (64%) and management (60%) are also important.

Challenge and mastery of the job are not surprising factors, with employees reporting they are less stressed in a job that is challenging but manageable, than in a less challenging job. Half of the employees say that a commandeering leadership style is the source of a lot of negative stress at work, but so is an unsupportive leadership style (39%). When sufficient support is provided, only 19% report feeling stressed.

The study also shows that age plays a role in an employee’s stress level at work, concluding that older workers generally have more energy and less stress than those just starting out. "After their long careers, many older workers end up working in an environment that perfectly suits their strengths and where they are fully in control. Young employees, however, might still be searching for their ideal job, which can be a source of stress,” says SD Worx.

The results also reveal that workers get positive energy out of a job that satisfies them personally, while also providing ample recognition and opportunities for growth.

Written by Robyn Boyle