Work Driving You Crazy? You're Not Alone
Yes, most of us are grateful to just to be employed in this miserable economy. But that doesn't mean our working conditions make us happy. In fact, 27 percent of employees say their workplace is not a psychologically safe and healthy environment, according to a new Reuters-Ipsos poll of 14,618 people in 24 countries. Only 47 percent agreed that their workplace was a psychologically healthy place.
The main causes for the discontent are:
- interpersonal conflict
- lack of feedback or promotion.
"Employers need to pay attention to their employees' mental health, not just their physical health," said Alexandra Evershed, senior vice president at Ipsos Public Affairs, a research company.
Most surprisingly, time spent working in the office has no correlation with employee satisfaction. In fact, this poll found that Americans, who famously log long hours at work and have relatively little guaranteed vacation time, had the highest levels of mental health, with 64 percent saying the workplace was psychologically healthy. Canada was right behind with 60 percent agreeing.
Regardless, workplace stress is still a significant problem in the U.S. Sixty-nine percent of U.S. employees say work is a significant source of stress, according to American Psychological Association research. A full 41 percent say they typically feel tense or stressed during the workday. And all the angst comes at a steep price. The job stress epidemic is widely reported to cost the U.S. economy more than $300 billion a year. That figure is based on the hard stats of absenteeism and turnover, as well as medical, legal and insurance costs.
In a troubled economy, when it's increasingly less clear that a nose-to-the-grindstone attitude will even pay off, workplace analysts have begun to emphasize the downside of ambition. As was reported on AOL Jobs, a study by professor Timothy Judge, of the University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Management, found that zealously pursuing your career can have physical and emotional costs.
"If ambition has its positive effects, and in terms of career success it certainly seems that it does, our study also suggests that it carries with it some cost," Judge wrote. "Despite their many accomplishments, ambitious people are only slightly happier than their less-ambitious counterparts, and they actually live somewhat shorter lives."
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Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.
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