The tension is rising

Published: 1st May 2012

Workplace stress will rise over the next five years according to a major new survey.  The survey took the opinions of 35,000 people across 36 European countries and alarmingly found that 80 per cent of people believed that job-related stress would increase, with 52 per cent saying it would increase “a lot”.

These latest results from the Ipsos Mori survey, conducted on behalf of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) support earlier research from EU-OSHA’s survey on new and emerging workplace risks (ESENER) which showed that an overwhelming majority of managers think stress is an issue in their companies indicating that stress at work needs to be as important as workplace accidents for companies.  Interestingly, at a national level the survey also showed that 86 per cent of respondents agreed that good occupational safety and health practices are necessary for a country to remain economically competitive.
“The financial crisis and the changing world of work is making increased demands on workers, therefore it is unsurprising that work-related stress is at the forefront of people’s minds,” said Dr Christa Sedlatschek, director of EU-OSHA in a ‘People Management’ article.  “Regardless of age, gender and organisation size an overwhelming majority of people believe that work-related stress will rise. Nonetheless there are interesting national variations in those who expect job-related stress to ‘increase a lot’, with Norwegians least worried (16 per cent), for instance, and Greeks most worried about rising stress (83 per cent ‘increase a lot’).”

The Ipsos Mori poll found widespread agreement (87 per cent) that good occupational health is important to help people work for longer before they retire. This is obviously of particular importance as workforces across Europe are growing older.