South African workers are getting more stressed, reveals latest research by workspace provider Regus. The survey, canvassing the opinions of over 16,000 professionals across the globe, found that over half (52%) of South African worker say their stress levels have risen over the past year.
Stress triggers include fuel price hikes
A number of national factors such as the increase in fuel price and inflation rates as well as continuing instability in the world economy are thought to have fuelled this growing pressure and respondents confirm that most stress triggers are of a professional rather than personal nature, with their finances, job and customers topping the list of causes.
Flexible working is an ideal solution
The research also focused on possible solutions and found that two thirds (63%) of South African respondents identify flexible working as a way of cutting stress.
Key findings are:
- Main causes of stress are: personal finances (62%), work (55%) and customers (48%);
- 63% of respondents say flexible working reduces stress;
- More than half (61%) of respondents think flexible working is more family-friendly;
- With 47% of respondents saying that flexible working is also cheaper than fixed location working and 77% that it improves productivity it would seem that helping staff to de-stress is also highly cost-effective;
- Globally, small business workers were more likely to be stressed by customers (42%) than large business workers (27%), but were less vexed by management (20%) than their counterparts in larger firms (40%);
Previous Regus research shows that 58% of workers feel healthier directly as a result of flexible working. Respondents clearly identify flexible working as one possible solution to their high stress levels. They also report flexibility is more family friendly, helping improve their overall work-life balance and well-being. Add to this that flexible working is believed to improve productivity and to cost less than traditional office working and the case for helping employees to de-stress by increasing flexibility becomes substantial.
Stressed workers get sick more
Kirsten Morgendaal, area director of Regus comments: “Without a doubt stressed-out workers are unhappy and unhealthy workers. Businesses that want to help their staff lead more rewarding lives cannot fail to tackle levels of stress within their organisation. Yet the heavy toll of stress falls not only on workers, but also on businesses.”
3 symptom of stressed staff:
- Unable to perform as required
- Need more sick leave
- Are less efficient.
Stress costs SA R3bn per annum
Reports state that R3 billion a year is being lost to workplace stress in South Africa.