New Numbers On The Negative Impact Of Workplace Stress

A workplace communications firm released a survey of the American workplace, which indicated that workplace stress and increasing employee workloads continue to be a concern.

According to the survey, 25 percent of workers have more work than they can complete, an increase from 20 percent just eight years ago. Seventy percent of those surveyed said their work is stressful, and 33 percent reported it is "extremely stressful."

Experts believe the high levels of stress have a negative impact on the workplace and can lead to higher absenteeism, turnover and diminished employee engagement and productivity. "Survey says heavy workloads, high stress levels dominate workplaces," hr.blr.com (Feb. 22, 2016).

Commentary

The above survey reaffirms the need for some employers to reduce stress to increase productivity and promote a healthier workforce.

Another value of less stress is that it reduces an employer’s litigation risk.

Studies consistently link stress to the development of several medical conditions, like heart disease or depression, conditions that are considered disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Stress can also exacerbate an existing disability, which can lead to increasing accommodation requests.

For example, post traumatic stress is caused by an individual’s experience with a traumatic event. It is a condition protected under the ADA and affects an estimated 24.4 million Americans. Increased stress in the workplace could add to PTSD symptoms.

Employers can limit exposure to disability claims by staying alert to signs that an employee is overworked. Consider periodically discussing workloads with your employees. If several employees are expressing concerns about their workload, a review of work assignments may be warranted.

When an employee communicates that stress is negatively affecting his or her work, it is a best practice to address the situation and work with them to discern if a reasonable accommodation would be appropriate.

Via:  Hartford Help