Americans are Shown to be Some of the Most Stressed-Out People in the World
A new report finds the U.S. and Canada exceed the rest of the globe’s stress levels.
- By Shereen Hashem
- Jun 18, 2021
The past year hasn’t been easy on people in the workplace. Gallup’s latest State of the Global Workplace report says U.S. workers are among the most stressed-out employees in the world. The report is about capturing people’s feelings about work and their lives in general over the past year. In the research found, American and Canadian workers, whose statistics are combined, showed the highest daily stress levels out of all the groups surveyed.
As much as 57 percent, these subcategory workers reported feeling stress on a daily basis, up by eight percent from the year before and 43 percent of people who feel that way around the world, according to the report. Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief workplace scientist, tells CNBC that the spike isn’t surprising. Besides 2020, the rates of stress, anger, worry and standards have been going up since 2009. This is all mixed together from the pandemic, financial insecurity and racial issues.
The spike is especially apparent for women in the last year at 62 percent. Working women in the U.S. and Canada reported daily feelings of stress compared to 52 percent of men. According to an article, this stems from caregiving in the household, child-care challenges and “women’s overrepresentation in low-wage service jobs most disrupted by the pandemic.” In Western Europe, however, the daily stress levels went down in the last year which researchers attribute to social safety nets preventing unemployment. While employee engagement decreased throughout the rest of the world, it increased to 34 percent in the U.S. According to an article, the higher engagement also means higher stress and mental health challenges.
The younger generation also expects their workplace to improve their overall well-being. They want more than just a paycheck. Harter references the Gallup research and says employers have a responsibility to help their workers improve to become a resilient workforce, including: employee well-being, learning and performance, not just attract the those who are most talented. Stress is a huge trigger of poor mental health. For example, financial stress due to being underpaid or community stress due to an unsafe work environment can play a big role in stress and mental-health.
The biggest role who can help in an employee’s well-being is their CEOs. They are the ones who can communicate the importance of easing stress in their companies to decrease these statistics from the highest position.
“The most important thing employers can do is to equip managers to have the right kinds of conversations with people,” Harter says. He says companies should be doing more to help their managers be on top of things in the workplace when it comes to their employees’ well-being and stress levels.
Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.