The workstress epidemic arrives in Australia.

Posted on under Today's research

We have been agitating for some time about the rise in the level of workplace stress. In these notes I have listed a great deal of research identifying particular stressors and the escalating cost of stress in the workplace to businesses and governments. Currently in the US the cost of workstress has been estimated to be in the region of $800 bln annually. Unfortunately very many employers are not listening. In today’s Sydney Morning Herald there is a good little piece on workstress in this country. The pity of it is that they, once again, stress such things as hours worked and the advisability of yoga and meditation. The truth is, as our work for the US government program aimed at combatting workplace stress has demonstrated, workstress is systemic in most workplaces and palliatives such as these, important as they may be for the individual, will not ease it. There is no clear evidence, for example, that long hours, per se, are an important stressor or that reducing hours leads to an overall reduction in stress. A transactional management style, lack of appropriate praise or recognition, dysfunctional workplace relationships, lack of consistency and the threat of unemployment are all much more powerful stressors than hours worked.