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Few Employers Addressing Workplace Stress, Watson Wyatt Surveys Find
Date:2/14/2008

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Workplace stress is the most frequently cited reason U.S. employees consider leaving their jobs. While employers acknowledge that stress is affecting business performance, few are taking steps to address it, according to two surveys by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a leading global consulting firm.

Nearly half of U.S. employers (48 percent) say stress caused by working long hours is affecting business performance. However, only 5 percent are addressing this concern, according to Watson Wyatt's 2007/2008 Staying@Work report. Similarly, more than one-quarter (29 percent) of employers believe stress caused by widespread use of technology such as cell phones and personal digital assistants is greatly affecting business performance, but only 6 percent are taking action to confront the issue.

"Many companies don't appear to appreciate how stress is affecting their business," said Shelly Wolff, national practice director of health and productivity at Watson Wyatt. "Too much stress from heavy demands, poorly defined priorities and little on-the-job flexibility can add to health issues. By leaving stress unaddressed, employers invite an increase in unscheduled time off, absence rates and health care costs -- all of which hurt a company's bottom line."

Employers Say Stress Affects Business Results

Cause of Employee Stress Employers That

Say Stress Employers

Affects Business Taking

Performance Strong Action

Long hours, doing more with less 48% 5%

Work/life balance 32% 16%

Technologies that expand availability 29% 6%

Manager's inability to recognize stress 24% 7%

Manager's inabi
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SOURCE Watson Wyatt Worldwide
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