A new survey published by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work reveals that 51% of Europe’s workers find stress ’commonplace’ in their workplace. Moreover, about one third of the labour force are affected by work-related depression and burn out.
The heavy burden of stress
These numbers are startling. And they come with a heavy price tag.
First, there’s the obvious cost of missed work days. According to EU-OSHA calculations, this alone adds up to a bill of 94 billion Euros a year.
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. How much does work efficiency and productivity suffer when people suffer? That number is much more difficult to crunch out, but European researchers believe it to be in the region of 600 billion Euros a year – and this is a very conservative estimation. The report explains the number-crunching:
Where to look for solutions?
The most progressive companies are well aware of the problem. They have established proactive routines to manage employees suffering from stress and depression, and these all start with a willingness to listen to employees.
Research shows clearly that companies and organizations where management has included its workers in developing or changing the structure, revising systems and procedures, usually have very little stress.
But what if there’s no stress solutions committees at your workplace? What if you feel the waves breaking over your head each day, yet no one at the management level seems to care…?