This Is Why Work Stress Is A Modern Epidemic

stress free work

Last week's shootings outside the Empire State Building in New York City shone a spotlight on mental health issues in the workplace. While it's not clear whether mental illness drove Jeffrey Johnson to target a former colleague a year after being laid off from his job at Hazan Imports, it's clear that Johnson -- who was slain by police after apparently shooting to death his former co-worker -- was under extraordinary stress. (The New York Post reports that the former fashion accessories designer was being evicted from his apartment, on top of being jobless.)

Johnson's case was extreme, but most people are grappling with work stress, and a spate of new studies show what's causing it and its fallout.

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It's The Workload

Workers in the financial sector say that they are doing the job of 1.3 people, or handling 30 percent more work than they should, according to a new study conducted by the British staffing consultancy, Ranstad. The study, based on results of a survey of 2,000 financial professionals, found that the increased workload was leading to more errors -- nearly 1 in 5 respondents said that they made a mistake in the past year as a result of being tired or stressed.

And the situation was more pronounced for those working in the legal sector, where workers said that they are doing 60 percent more work than they should be responsible for.

Lack Of Control Over Their Work

Women's risk of developing diabetes is doubled if they have alter your genetic code too, according to a new study from Translational Psychiatry, which noted that the brain produces fewer receptors after a mock interview. Such a result can lead to cognitive damage. The transformation in receptor output was traced back to the oxytocin receptor, which has been nicknamed the "love" or "trust" hormone. That doesn't bode well for the many millions of job hunters.

So What's The Solution?

The Mayo Clinic recommends that people with chronic stress try yoga. Overwhelmed by anxiety and just the stress of managing her adult life, one writer forThe New York Times wrote about trying bikram yoga, which involves contorting your body in a tropically warm environment.

At first, she said it had the effect of making her stressful thoughts go "quiet." Convinced she'd found the answer, she applied an investment banker's intensity to the Buddhist practice, and would do two sessions in one day after days when she had too much work to practice her postures. The end result? A new form of anxiety to make sure she kept to her Bikram schedule, and the conclusion she should stop looking for quick fix solutions.
Stress Costs Business Billions

Dan Fastenberg

Dan Fastenberg

Associate Editor

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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Helen Saghy

The shooter had been fired for a year already. He's just a nut. Stress had nothing to do with it. He could have found another job, but instead he puts on a suit every day and goes to get coffee.

Stress is a part of life and work. Deal.

August 28 2012 at 1:49 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
remendell

If most people would learn to say NO their 'stress' would almost disappear. Problem is they are afraid to say NO or won't say no because they are 'pushing' to get a raise or move up the ladder. If someone is not finding a new challenge in their job each day, they should start looking for one that will challenge them daily. I was blessed to manage/work with over 800 [airline] employees who cared about the company and who came to me daily to talk about on job & personal problems. Most of them, like me found a new challenge each day; weather, mechanical delays, customer problems, co-workers out sick or conflicts, lost luggage, & equipment breakdowns. And we worked together to overcome those problems which in turn eliminated the stress & in then gave us a sense of satisfaction.

August 28 2012 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
legacykwst

Not long ago, I heard an interview by a major business figure. He was talking about how his mother was a manager at a company when he was small. She had to be at work at 8am and was home by 5pm, in time to prepare dinner. The family was able to eat together and the phone was never answered at dinner. In the evening, they sometimes went to a movie, or stayed home to watch TV, or did Little League, as a family. He said that both he and his wife work. His wife is in a position similar to his mothers... a supervisor at a company. She is up checking email at 5am.... Calls start coming in around 6:30. She's in the office by 7am and is often dragging home at 8 or 9pm. If she has time for dinner or to do something on the weekend, it rarely goes uninterrupted.... He said his schedule is much the same.... and it's wearing them both down. However, a failure to jump thru the hoops means termination. One weekend both decided to turn off their phones and take a weekend away from the kids. Both almost lost their jobs because their phones were off and they had not checked their emails. Their employers are insisting that they have to ask permission before they can take a weekend away. The lines between work time and personal time has so blurred, that we are slipping into a slave situation.

August 28 2012 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to legacykwst's comment
Helen Saghy

They can report that to the local EEOC board. The emloyer would have their hands full.

August 28 2012 at 1:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

When a 19 year old Wally manager interviews someone over age 50 for a retail job that has much more experience then calls them arrogant is there a problem with the manager?

August 28 2012 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment
Helen Saghy

Yes, it should be explained to the TEENAGER that someone over 50 will have scads more experience than the TEENAGER and it is the TEENAGER who has to watch their own arrogance when they can't hold a candle to the 50+ person's experience.

Who promotes a 19 year old to a manager position anyway? Out of school what, a red hot year? A drop out with a GED? what in the world do they have that someone with more experience doesn't?

August 28 2012 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Badsnake98

First off, anybody taking the life of another over employment or any private relationship is the lowest on this earth. Move on, why be around anyone that doesn't want to be with you, walk away, forget about them. If a lot of people all around don't want to be near you, then understand that your ways are the problem. Own up to it, ask others what changes are needed and start working at being a better person.

Now for the stress. This is so simple to fix. It is simplely the dummie down the Americans and their (now pasted) good life and throw a few crumbs at the rest of the third world nations to make them happy. The rich want it all and want you to think your a dime a dozen. If nobody went to work at the poor quailty of life, low paying part time, with no benefits, that have ten's of millions working from paycheck to paycheck and failing health, no hope to ever retire. They would either pay better or go out of business. Their stockpile of money would be no good if no one was to work for them privately, because they only know how to have someone else do it for them.

They also know the work force is as divided as anything else in this nation and will never stand together to say enough is enough. So, enjoy your stressfull or poor paying job. All was fine years ago, the world turns at the same speed today as it did when all was good in this nation.

Allowing too many to pile into it, too fast, only ruined it's way of life. Allowing the big incomes to pay a smaller percentage of taxes, then a working person, is just as wrong.

August 28 2012 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
seahawk1500

Stress maybe part of it, but working for a company these days is different than it was even 10 years ago. These days company's not only want to know what you're doing at work, but also what you're doing off work and who you're doing it with. God help you if you don't like your company on facebook. Here is a company cell phone, remember you're on call so keep your phone with you. Oh by the way we didn't tell you but we can track your movements with the cell phone. Watch out boys and girls the boss is watching and so is big brother. Soon they'll be teaching you how to walk, how to talk and how to think. Remember George Orwell's 1984, it's closer than you think. Remember Soylent Green is people, that will be next. I love my country I fear my government.

August 28 2012 at 9:12 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Koz

Same problem different name, years ago it was called being postal, it should be called obamanal, after all is he the real reason we lose our jobs.

August 28 2012 at 8:40 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Koz's comment
Iselin007

The last ten years or so it seems retaliation or just random expression of retribution has increased with the decline of the middle class.

August 28 2012 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
johnwhalen

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August 28 2012 at 8:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ED

Maybe it has nothing to do with stress. That's just another excuse given to cover some one's bad behavior. Maybe this person is just a nutcase. We have lots of them in our society, and all the excuses in the world will not change that fact.

August 28 2012 at 8:33 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ashumate3

That’s what you get for getting one of those jobs where you have to sing ‘I owe my soul to the company store’ or have to say yes sir (maam) or no sir (maam) massah. When you get one of those jobs, you are owned (maybe that’s what Biden was talking about concerning the chains). That’s the jobs these people sucked up for so stop complaining and suck it up.

August 28 2012 at 8:32 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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