40+ Worrisome Workplace Stress Statistics [2022]: Facts, Causes, And Trends

By Caitlin Mazur - Jan. 23, 2022

Research Summary. Workplace stress is one of the largest hurdles you can experience on the job. Stress at work comes in all shapes and sizes, across all types of industries and careers. After extensive research, our data analysis team concluded:

  • 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress, with 25% saying their job is the number one stressor in their lives.

  • About one million Americans miss work each day because of stress.

  • 76% of US workers report that workplace stress affects their personal relationships.

  • Depression-induced absenteeism costs US businesses $51 billion a year, as well as an additional $26 billion in treatment costs.

  • Middle-aged participants had a 27% increase in the belief that their financial status would be affected by stress in the 2010s compared to the 1990s.

  • More than 50% of workers are not engaged at work as a result of stress, leading to a loss of productivity.

  • Companies spend around 75% of a worker’s annual salary to cover lost productivity or to replace workers.

  • The main causes of workplace stress are workload (39% of workers), interpersonal issues (31%), juggling work and personal life (19%), and job security (6%).

most common causes of workplace stress
Workplace Stress Statistics by: Top Causes | Producitivity | Coping | Job + Industry | Gender + Age | Trends | Health Effects

General Workplace Stress Statistics

Regardless of industry or job position, a large majority of working individuals feel some level of stress throughout their day.

The alarming statistics around workplace stress only continue to grow, pointing to much-needed change for many organizations in expectations, mental health resources, and work-life balance. Through our research, we’ve found:

  • 55% of Americans are stressed during the day.

  • Some 57% of U.S. and Canadian workers reported feeling stress on a daily basis, compared with 43% of people who feel that way globally. Americans and Canadians’ rate of daily job-related stress is also up 8% year-over-year.

  • Only 6% of workers don’t report feeling stressed at work. Around 23% of them described their stress levels as high, while 6% said their levels of stress were unreasonably high.

  • 30% of survey respondents statated that their job or careers were regular causes of stress. Among Millenials and Gen Z, this statistic jumps to 44%, showing that stress is on the rise among younger generations and presents a larger global problem than it did 20 or 30 years ago.

  • 48% of employees agreed they felt more callous toward people since they took their job.

  • 65% of workers said that workplace stress had caused difficulties, and more than 10% described these as having major effects on their life.

  • 42% of employees report that yelling and other verbal abuse is common, while 29% have yelled at co-workers because of workplace stress.

  • On a scale from one to ten, the average American rates their stress level as 4.9.

83% of workers suffer from work-related stress

Top Causes of Workplace Stress Statistics

Although not all jobs are created equal, the stresses that come along with the responsibilities of having a job can be quite common. Many of these causes come from a work-life imbalance, difficult communication with colleagues, and strained relationships with management or leadership.

  • 80% of workers say that a change in leadership affecs their stress levels.

    Leadership and management teams can dictate the strategic direction, workload and responsibilities, and overall morale of a team.

    According to Zippia research, pver 60% of workers have left a job or would leave one over a bad boss.

    A separate study showed that 31% of surveyed US workers said that being unclear about expectations from supervisors is the most stressful element when experiencing change at work.

  • Workload is the main cause of stress for 39% of workers.

    Other major sources of stress in the workplace are interpersonal issues (31%), juggling work and personal life (19%), and job security (6%). Some other common stress factors include low salaries, lack of opportunity for growth, unrealistic job expectations, and long hours.

  • 80% of workers in the US were stressed as a result of ineffective company communication.

    Without communication, it can be difficult for both employees and management to understand where boundaries lie.

    One in four employees strongly disagreed that their supervisor provides emotional support to help them manage their stress.

    One in three workers says their boss thinks work should be a top priority and come before family life and a third of employees say their employer thinks the ideal employee would be available 24-hours a day.

  • Over 65% of employees find it difficult to concentrate because of their work environment, compared to 46% of respondents in 2018.

    It’s no secret that work environment can impact productivity, morale, and mental health.

    Workers identify workplace productivity (56%) and relationships with coworkers and peers (51%) as being affected the most by stress and anxiety, while 58% of employees have left a job or would consider leaving because of negative office politics, according to workplace productivity statistics from the ADAA.

Workplace Stress Statistics and Productivity

Although stress can sometimes be a motivator, negative stress can have consequences for both the employee and the company. Stress can severely impact productivity which can harm financial performance, employee retention, and employee health.

The following statistics demonstrate how severely workplace stress can impact both the individual and the organization:

  • US businesses lose up to $300 billion yearly as a result of workplace stress.

  • Stress causes around one million workers to miss work each and every day.

  • 63% of US workers are ready to quit their jobs due to stress, and 16% of workers have already quit a past job due to stress.

  • Over 56% of employees reported that they spend time looking for a new position, compared to 40% of respondents in 2018.

  • Workers who take sick days due to mental health issues are seven times more likely to have further absences than those with physical health problems.

  • Only 40% of employees who suffer from stress have talked to their employer about it. In addition, 34% of workers don’t feel safe reporting stress because they think it would be interpreted as a lack of interest or unwillingness to do the activity.

  • Work-related stress causes 120,000 deaths and results in $190 billion in healthcare costs yearly.

  • More than a third of stressed office workers feel they will burn out in the next 12 months.

Workplace Stress Statistics and Coping

Many individuals who experience stress in the workplace must learn to cope both at work and in their personal lives. Most times, workplace stress will bleed over the professional line and begin to impact not only mental health but employee’s personal relationships and habits.

The following statistics we’ve compiled shows just exactly how significantly workplace stress impacts employees outside of work.

  • In 2018, 76% of US workers said that workplace stress affected their personal relationships.

    Over 20% of workers spend more than five hours of office time weekly thinking about their stressors and their worries.

  • 85% of respondents agreed (somewhat to strongly agreed) that their workplace stress affects their mental health.

    Nearly 83% of respondents felt emotionally drained from their work, with over 40% stating that they strongly agreed with this statement.

  • Both men and women handle workplace stress by consuming more caffeine (31%), smoking (27%), and exercising more frequently (25%).

    However, men and women tend to cope with stress somewhat differently from the opposite sex.

    For example, women tend to eat more (46% of women compared to 27% of men) and talk with friends and family (44% compared to 21%), whereas men are more likely to have sex more frequently (19% compared to 10%), while 12% of men cope by using illicit drugs, compared to only 2% of women.

most common physical complaints caused by workplace stress

Workplace Stress Statistics by Job and Industry

Workplace stress does tend to vary by job and industry. For example, those who take healthcare or public safety careers are often more highly stressed than those working in other industries.

Below, we’ve compiled some of the most stressful jobs and careers and some of the least. These are important considerations to make when you’re planning your career path and goals.

The most stressful jobs and their median salaries:

The least stressful jobs and their median salaries:

The industries in which workers experience the most stress are:

Average Days of Stress Per Week by Industry

Industry Average Days of Stress
Marketing & Advertising 3.84
Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation 3.41
Wholesale & Retail 3.39
Telecommunications 3.38
Military & Public Safety 3.35
Hotel, Food Services, & Hospitality 3.31
Technology 3.25
Publishing, Broadcasting, & Journalism 3.24

Workplace Stress Statistics by Gender and Age

As with industries and career paths, workplace stress can significantly vary based on gender, race, age, and sexual preference. Although much progress has been made across many industries and companies, there is still much work to be done. These statistics show just how prevalent workplace stress can vary based on the individual.

  • On a scale of one to ten, women described their stress levels as 5.1, compared to stress levels of 4.4 among men, according to the APA Stress in America 2016 survey.

  • 62% of working women in the U.S. and Canada reported daily feelings of stress compared with 52% of men.

  • workplace stress by gender

  • Half of all LGBTQ+ employees stay closeted at work, and nearly 43% of gay individuals and 90% of transgender individuals have faced harassment or mistreatment on the job.

  • Americans aged 30-49 are the most stressed age group, with 65% reporting high workplace stress. Americans aged 15-29 are right behind them, with 64%, while 44% of people older than 50 reported feeling stressed out.

  • workplace stress by age

Workplace Stress Statistics Over Time

Workplace stress is steadily increasing as time goes on. This can be due to rising expectations, high competition, and lack of resources or staffing. The current generation of professionals is fast approaching the burnout stage. Our research shows:

  • 75% of workers think they are experiencing more stress than previous generations did.

  • Middle-aged participants in the surveys showed a 17% increase in believing that stress would affect their future plans. They also had a 27% increase in the belief that their financial status would be affected by stress in the 2010s compared to the ’90s.

Workplace Stress Statistics: Effect on Health

Although workplace stress can significantly impact the organization, employees should be focused on how it impacts their overall health. Although stress can sometimes seem manageable, it can take a toll on an individual’s health, especially if they have experienced it for some time.

The statistics for how workplace stress affects health are as follows:

  • Stress caused sleep deprivation for 66% of American workers in 2018.

    More than half of respondents said they often have 12-hour workdays, and an equal amount frequently skip lunch because of job stress and demands.

    62% of workers said they end the day with neck pain, 44% reported stressed-out eyes, and 34% reported difficulty in sleeping because of stress. This type of ongoing stress can wreak havoc on an individual’s physical and mental health.

  • 80% of workers feel stress on the job, and nearly half said they need help in learning how to manage stress.

    Companies that offer effective stress management have been shown to reduce sickness absence costs by up to 20%. Stress causes around one million workers to miss work every day.

  • Excessive workplace stress causes a staggering 120,000 deaths and results in nearly $190 billion in health care costs each year.

    Depression leads to $51 billion in costs due to absenteeism and $26 billion in treatment costs. Stressed workers incur healthcare costs twice as high as other employees.

  • The consequences of stress-related illnesses cost businesses an estimated $200 to $300 billion a year in lost productivity.

    Depression leads to $51 billion in costs due to absenteeism and $26 billion in treatment costs.

    Companies spend around 75% of a worker’s annual salary to cover lost productivity or to replace workers. The annual cost of lost productivity due to absenteeism tied to poor health was more than $84 billion in 2013.

Workplace Stress Statistics FAQ

  1. How do I know if I’m experiencing workplace stress?

    There are a number of different things to watch for if you think you may be experiencing overwhelming workplace stress. You may lose your confidence and feel like an imposter in your position. You may become angry, irritable, or withdrawn.

    Other symptoms include: feeling anxious, apathy, loss of interest in your work, insomnia, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, headaches or muscle tension, digestion issues, social withdrawal, or using drugs or alcohol to cope.

  2. How can I manage stress at work?

    Depending on what is stressing you out, there are a few different things to consider to help manage or eliminate your stress. For example, if you are stressed out from being overworked, it’s important to set boundaries, take breaks, and learn to prioritize.

    If you are struggling with uncertainty, be sure to overcommunicate, get clear feedback, and find the confidence to talk to your boss or colleagues about your stress levels.

  3. How can I manage workload stress outside of work?

    In today’s world, it can feel impossible to shut down, even after a full day of work. But working a high-profile job doesn’t mean you should take it home with you. Be sure to set boundaries with your work, your boss, and your colleagues. Set reasonable expectations and let colleagues know where your boundary line lies.

    For example, block your calendar after 6 p.m. and don’t take meetings later than then. Block time off to take a lunch break and try to stay away from your email over the weekend. Small changes in your life can help you learn to reprioritize your personal life over work when it’s appropriate.

  4. What percentage of stress is caused by the workplace?

    25% of Americans say that work-related stress is the #1 stressor in their lives. 83% of Americans experience work-related stress overall, so it’s fair to estimate that over half of all stress is caused by the workplace.

    Changes in leadership, poor relationships with colleagues, difficulty maintaining work-life balance, and, most commonly, a heavy workload are the usual causes of workplace stress.

  5. Are there organizational measures to cope with workplace stress?

    Yes, there are several organizational measures to cope with workplace stress. For starters, ensuring good hiring practices will ensure that new hires are well-suited to their positions and well-trained in their responsibilities.

    Providing employees with clear instructions, objective performance metrics, and consistent feedback will help reduce some of the greatest and most common causes of workplace stress. A lack of clear and consistent communication is a common complaint of stressed employees, so make this your first priority.

    Also, encourage breaks through a corporate culture that doesn’t frown on (an appropriate amount) of downtime. Instead, foster a culture where employees aren’t made to feel bad or like they’ll be facing a mountain of work after taking a vacation with their PTO days.

    If possible, provide company-sponsored counseling programs. While potentially expensive to have your own in-house mental health department, it can pay dividends to keep your staff mentally and emotionally fresh at work.

    Not to mention that retention rates also increase with perks like these, which saves you money re-hiring and re-training replacements.

  6. Is stress beneficial to employees?

    No, stress is not beneficial to employees. Stress affects employee performance by increasing the likelihood of errors, decreasing the overall quality of work, and increasing the odds of burnout. In the long term, this leads to disengaged employees, as well as higher rates of absenteeism and expensive voluntary turnover.

    Of course, every job involves at least a moderate amount of pressure and it’s unrealistic to assume that employees will never become stressed by their work. But ultimately, it’s a myth that a stressed-out, overworked team will produce better results.

Conclusion

Workplace stress can be difficult for many experiencing it. The good news is, if you’re aware of it, you can begin to change your habits. Every week, take time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished, take note of what stressed you out at work, and plan for a better week next week.

However, it’s important to note that work can and always may be a stressful thing for many people. It’s only when that stress begins to bleed over into other areas in our life, where it becomes problematic. Stress can put us at risk of burnout and even have serious consequences on our health, as demonstrated by the statistics above.

Having the wherewithal to identify what exactly causes stress can be valuable to help mitigate its effect. If you can note the things in your workplace that cause you uncertainty, lack of control, or fear, you’ll be better equipped to face them head-on or create workarounds.

If you are experiencing stress in your work, you most likely aren’t alone. Therefore, be sure to reach out to your leadership team, human resources, manager, or even a friendly colleague.

References

  1. Stress.org. “42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics.” Accessed on August 6, 2021

  2. CNBC. “U.S. workers are among the most stressed in the world, the new Gallup report finds.” Accessed on August 6, 2021

  3. MHA National. 2021 Mind the Workplace Report. Accessed on August 6, 2021.

  4. Shortlister. “55 Troubling Workplace Stress Statistics for 2021.” Accessed on August 6, 2021

  5. Mindshare Partners. “Workplace Mental Health for LGBTQ+ Professionals.” Accessed on August 6, 2021.

  6. APA Foundation. “Workplace Stress Center for Workplace Mental Health.” Accessed August 6, 2021.

  7. CBS News. “The ten most and least stressful jobs in America.” Accessed on August 6, 2021.

  8. Moneytalk News. “The 10 Most Stressful Industries and 5 Ways We Cope.” Accessed August 6, 2021.

  9. Healthline. “Why Americans Are More Stressed Today Than They Were in the 1990s.” Accessed August 6, 2021.

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Author

Caitlin Mazur

Caitlin Mazur is a freelance writer at Zippia. Caitlin is passionate about helping Zippia’s readers land the jobs of their dreams by offering content that discusses job-seeking advice based on experience and extensive research. Caitlin holds a degree in English from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.

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