77 per cent of Americans stressed at work: Study

Low pay, commute top stressors
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 04/12/2011

More than three-quarters of Americans are stressed out about something related to their job, according to the 2011 Work Stress Survey conducted by Harris Interactive.

The majority of Americans (77 per cent) are stressed by at least one thing at work, found the survey of nearly 1,000 adults. Overall, 14 per cent of survey respondents ranked low pay as the most stressful aspect, followed by commuting (11 per cent), unreasonable workload (nine per cent) and fear of being fired or laid off (nine per cent).

Annoying co-workers ranked in the middle (eight per cent), followed by the boss (five per cent), poor work-life balance (five per cent) and lack of opportunity for advancement (four per cent).

However, 21 per cent of survey respondents said nothing stressed them out about their jobs.

"Most employers are becoming well aware of the need to address rising employee stress and those who don't address it are likely to suffer lower morale and productivity,” said Wendy Cullen, vice-president of employer development for Everest College.

The survey found that workplace anxiety levels are high among young adults ages 18 to 34. This age group ranked low pay (18 per cent) and annoying co-workers (11 per cent) as the top two stress factors. Other key stressors included commuting (nine per cent) and fear of being fired (nine per cent).

Similar to other Americans, 13 per cent of college graduates ranked losing their job as the biggest stressor, followed by unreasonable workload (12 per cent) and low pay (11 per cent).

"The impact of stress cannot be overstated," said Davis Brimberg, a Los Angeles-based psychologist who focuses on workplace issues. "Almost all psychological problems are worsened by it. People of all occupations and income levels are greatly affected. Counselling can be very helpful in relieving signs and symptoms of stress-related issues."

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