Our modern culture of overwork seems to have reached new heights. Even though we know that stress, especially chronic stress, is really bad for us, many of us still subconsciously ascribe to societal ideals that tell us that being "so busy" and having little time for anything but work is normal or even good. Now, new research confirms what we already guessed — most American workers are stressed.
Paychex recently released the results of their survey on the current state of stress and the American worker, which was completed by 2,000 full-time U.S. employees. The findings reveal that stress is common. The report also identifies specific factors that contribute to stress and pinpoints what folks are doing to combat it.
Although everyone is different, it's interesting to consider your own stress in relation to these current norms. Is your level of stress typical? Are you aggravated by the same things that stress most workers? And, are you managing your stress differently than others?
1. The majority of workers are stressed on any given workday
Participants were asked to rank their stress on a scale of one to five. One in four, 25.7 percent to be precise, said their stress was at a level four. And, 4.9 percent said it was at a five out of five. Altogether, more than 70 percent of respondents ranked their stress at a level three or higher. Over 60 percent said that they felt stressed three or more workdays per week, on average. This means that, on any given day, more workers are feeling stressed than not. This state really is the norm.
2. Some industries are more stressful than others
There was quite a bit of variation when survey results were broken down by industry. Folks in marketing and advertising spent an average of 3.84 workdays per week feeling stressed (nearly 80 percent of the time) whereas workers in the real estate, rental, and leasing industry were reportedly the least stressed, at just 2.61 days per week. Other stressful industries include art/entertainment/recreation and wholesale and retail. But, utilities and transportation and warehousing were relatively less stressful.