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Reduce Employee Stress

March 12, 1999
Related Topics: Work/Life Balance, Stress Management, Featured Article
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A new federal study issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) warns that with "the nature of work changing at whirlwind speed," job stress for today's workers may be higher than ever before. NIOSH points to a Princeton Survey Research Associates survey which shows that three-fourths of employees believe workers have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago.

The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine reports that healthcare expenditures are nearly 50 percent greater for workers who report high stress levels. And, stress on the job is associated with increased absenteeism, tardiness, and a desire by workers to quit. Workers who take time off as a result of a stress-related disorder tend to be off the job for roughly 20 days.

Helping employees better manage their work and personal lives can dramatically reduce their stress levels. Some ways to help reduce employee stress include:

  1. Assisting employees with financial planning related questions. Poor personal financial planning behaviors are breeding productivity-inhibiting stress for roughly 15% of US workers (Garman, Leech and Grable; Virginia Tech, 1996).

  2. Setting up a toll-free 24-hour number to help employees with home assistance services, including locating handymen, plumbers, electricians.

  3. Offering assistance-via subsidy vouchers and/or a referral network-with emergency child care, elder care, pet care, and public transportation.

  4. Providing "soft" benefits to employees such as employing an office concierge service to run errands for employees, offering in-house massages, shoe shines, manicures or meditation sessions to relieve daily stress, providing an in-house dry cleaner and tailor.
SOURCE: Work/Life Benefits, Cypress, CA, January 20, 1999.
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