One of the major health risks of today’s workplace is occupational stress. Employees who are stressed in the workplace are more likely to be unhealthy and less safe at work. Often, workplace stress can’t be avoided, and some people even view a certain amount of stress as acceptable or even healthy. While stress itself isn’t technically considered a disease, it can be a problem once it becomes excessive and unmanageable. This can negatively impact the worker’s health and performance. In this article, I’ll be sharing with you the latest statistics about occupational stress among office workers. Keep reading to find out how you can leverage these statistics in your marketing and add value to who you're serving in your business.

Occupational Stress in the Office

Occupational stress refers to the physical, mental, and emotional reactions of workers who feel that their job demands exceed their abilities to perform their work. Work stress can have several negative impacts on both employees and the organization. Absenteeism, increased accident rate, and high turnover rate are some of the possible results. Additionally, the employee’s performance may be significantly affected, resulting in mistakes or poor decision-making. 

For many Ergonomics Consultants out there who are looking to share more of their expertise and increase their revenue, an effective marketing tactic is a must. One way that we can provide value to both our prospects and customers is by sharing information that really resonates with them via various marketing platforms. And depending on who you want to serve, it’ll change the types of information that you want to share. If you’re working with office workers, the information that I’m going to share below is really valuable, and you can use them in your marketing content. Now, let’s check out what the statistics say.

Previous studies have demonstrated that occupational stress is closely associated with the health and safety of workers and has clear implications for the well-being of organizations. This recent study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, aims to identify work stressors as they’re perceived by office workers in two different countries. The researchers use the 6th European Working Conditions Survey as a theoretical and structural framework to present the findings of their study. They found that their findings were in connection with two of the most widely used occupational stress models: the Job Demand-Control model and the Effort-Reward Imbalance model.  

The highlights of the results are as follows:

Main Stress Sources Among Office Workers

  1. Work Intensity & Time Pressure

Each one of us has a given capacity for work. If the workload is outside of your capability, it'll likely become a significant source of stress. For most office workers, work is always challenging, and they constantly have to meet deadlines. Office workers indicating higher levels of work intensity reported working more hours, a higher workload, and more work stress. 

The researchers in the study point out that one-third of workers and 80% of managers all over Europe are experiencing work-related stress due to high work intensity and time pressure. It's also interesting to note that a total of 22% of workers in Europe have to work during their break multiple times a month in order to complete their work demands. This is also true for most office workers all over the world right now. A highly relevant indicator of the European Working Conditions Survey is emotional demands—the psychosocial elements of work that we can measure as Ergonomic Consultants—which was also described by the participants in the study as stress-inducing. 

  1. Lack of Support

An excellent psychosocial work environment provides opportunities for support. Stress happens in a variety of work situations but is usually made worse when employees feel they have little support from their managers and coworkers. Workers value supportive management, and failing to provide adequate support can affect their physical and mental health. 

Based on the study, approximately 16% of workers in Europe experienced adverse social behavior in their focus groups. It’s evident in the research that the management’s failure to provide proper support and resources to their workers results in higher employee stress levels. Additionally, lack of assistance from the manager and unsupportive leadership is consistently associated with increased negative emotions among workers and emotional distance from the workplace. Lack of leadership also leads to lower perceived responsibility to one's own work and a lower barrier for calling in sick. 

Share the Importance of Ergonomics Intervention

A recent article in Forbes found that every voluntary exit is equivalent to up to 2 times that person's annual compensation package. So when we're talking about workers who aren't happy being at work, it can have long-term implications in business. Therefore, the management must understand that there’ll be a huge change in the workplace culture, climate, ergonomics, and safety risks if their employees are experiencing substantial workplace stress. The good news is: workplace changes result in better physical and mental health, and ergonomics interventions frequently have a payback period of less than a year. 

The way management supports their employees is vital to minimizing or preventing occupational stress. When considering making any type of improvement to enhance workplace culture, it’s critical that business leaders fully understand what’s at stake. Loss costs can be divided into two categories: direct vs. indirect. When determining the two categories, the iceberg model of the cost of injury is an effective analogy to workplace injury:

  • Direct costs represent the part of the iceberg that’s above the surface of the water, which only constitutes 10% of the direct costs of an injury.
  • The vast majority of the costs of a workplace injury or cost to workplace inefficiencies are below the surface of the water and are represented as indirect costs. 

Many employers don’t realize how much injuries and lost-time due to sickness really cost them. Business leaders should take this into account when considering making that investment for ergonomics. Again, the return on investment is often less than one year, and sharing this information with business leaders should be integral to your marketing and outreach tactics.

What’s Next?

I hope this post gives you some ideas on how to position your ergonomics services to your clients and prospects. If you're interested in the tactics involved with finding more paying customers, how to make more money, and how to stand out from the crowd with your own ergo services, I encourage you to join me in the training that I’ll be hosting on September 29, 2022. Whether you're just getting started with your own Ergonomics services or have years of experience running your own ergonomic consultancy, this training is a great help, so make sure to save your spot now. Just click here to sign up today.



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