Employee Stress Levels at an All-Time High…Yet Again

Sofia Imtiaz Salesforce Consultant
Sofia Imtiaz

According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report, which examines and analyses how workers felt about work and life in the last year, employee stress levels are at an all-time high while engagement and employee wellbeing are at a low.

This report that showcases results from the largest study of worker experience highlights the fact that the majority of employees across the globe are experiencing a low quality of life and are burnt out and disengaged from their jobs.

Stress at an All-Time High among Employees

The Gallup report found that 40% of employees feel worried and 44% feel stressed daily. Around 21% of employees reported feeling anger throughout their workday, while feelings of sadness were reported by 23%. While feelings of worry, anger, sadness, and stress have declined numerically since 2021, they are still well above pre-covid levels.

The report shows that men feel less work-related negative emotions than women. A total of 43% of female employees feel worried daily at work, while only 38% of male workers reported feeling the same. Women also feel more sadness (24%) than men (22%), more stress (47%) than men (42%), and more anger (22%) than men (20%) throughout their day at work.

Statistics among age groups are fairly similar, however workers under the age of 40 (47%) experience far more stress than their over 40 (39%) counterparts.

The rates for these negative feelings vary worldwide with 53% of Latin American and Caribbean employees experiencing daily work related worries, as opposed to 41% of employees in Canada and the US. Daily stress is experienced by 55% in East Asia versus 50% in Canada and the US, daily anger is experience by 34% in South Asia versus 18% in the US and Canada, and sadness is experienced daily by 42% in South Asia versus 22% in Canada and the US.

The conclusion is that workers across the world are unhappy in their jobs and in a time where there is a big focus on workers’ wellbeing and healthy lifestyles it’s important that efforts are made around the common denominator that brings unhappiness: work. Businesses need to take a more holistic view around their employees and see them as “whole” selves, rather than “work” selves.

Engagement and Wellbeing in the Workplace at a Steady Low

 The Gallup report shows that the majority of workers don’t feel like their wok is rewarding and they aren’t happy with their lives. Seventy-nine percent of employees stated they aren’t engaged at work, while only 33% state they are thriving both at work and out of it.

Even though there are very low engagement rates, women are still slightly more engaged (23%) at work than men (20%). The study found that in Europe just 14% of employees are engaged, as opposed to the US and Canada (33%).

When it comes to thriving, women claim to be ahead of their male counterparty. With the global thriving rate at 33%, women stated that they are fulfilled in their life at rates of 36% as opposed to 32% of men.

For employees to feel truly engaged at work, they need to feel a sense of belonging and this comes down to communication. Employees need to understand what their employers’ purpose, values, and vision is. To give workers a sense of purpose, relevance, and meaning employers need to tell them how their work is of value and how they contribute individually to the business’ success.

Worldwide employees over 40 years old are more engaged (23%) than workers below 40 (20%), however both age groups have the same quality of life (33%).

The statistics have remained relatively stable throughout the covid crisis, however global wellbeing and engagement have increased by 1% since 2021 but remain below the pre-pandemic numbers of 2019.

Out of all surveyed employees, the report shows that 60% have detached from their work while 19% are completely disengaged. Both of these stats speak toward the latest workplace trend of “quiet quitting”.

What Could Be Causing Low Wellbeing and High Stress?

Not being happy with your work-life balance and disliking your job is a common theme amongst employees. In popular culture, working is shows as a burden and for many in the real world it’s true. Regardless of how passionate you are about what you do, work remains work. Feeling miserable daily however, shouldn’t be the accepted norm.

Burnout came to the forefront as an issue throughout the pandemic. However, forgetting the pandemic for a second, the work environment and employee relationships with employers also play a huge part in wellbeing.

The study found that the most common reasons for burnout were unmanageable workloads, lack of support from managers, unfair treatment at work, unreasonable time-related pressures, and unclear communication from managers.

A Thriving Workplace Should Be Encouraged

Businesses should try to create a work environment that helps diminish their employees’ stress, worry, and other negative feeling. If they do so they’ll help their workers thrive, which will not only increase wellbeing among their staff, but also boost productivity.

Managers needs to be better collaborators and listeners to help their employees learn and grow, while recognising their great work. When this happens, workers feel cared about and they’ll thrive in the workplace.

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