Work stress on the rise in NZ - survey

By Gill South

Work related stress is on the rise in NZ, says a new survey. Photo / Thinkstock
Work related stress is on the rise in NZ, says a new survey. Photo / Thinkstock

Work-related stress is on the rise with more than one third (39 per cent) of New Zealand respondents saying their stress levels have been higher in the past year, in a global study of 16,000 professionals by workspace provider, Regus.

Commonly cited causes of work-related stress included long hours, heavy workloads, job insecurity and interpersonal conflicts.

The chief causes of stress among NZ workers surveyed was either workplace or finance related, with 54 per cent citing customers as the reason, 51 per cent saying it was personal finances and 39 per cent blaming their job. Factors related to home life rated much lower, with 21 per cent of respondents saying their partner/spouse created stress for them and 18 per cent saying their children were the cause.

"The heavy tolls of stress falls not only on workers and their families, but also on businesses as they find that their staff under-perform, need more sick-leave and are less efficient. Businesses that want to help their staff lead more rewarding lives cannot fail to analyse and tackle levels of stress within their organisation," said Filippo Sarti, Asia Pacific CEO and Global COO for Regus.

Management can provide the solution, he said. They need to create stress free environments and enable their teams to be productive. "This means making sure employees are in control of their workloads and fostering healthy team relationships and reducing wasted time such as long commutes," said Sarti.

Almost 80 per cent of NZ respondents identified that one way to ease the stress was through flexible working. People believed this was a key method for businesses to save on costs and to help to improve productivity, therefore enhancing job security.

Sarti added: "Giving employees tools that allow them to work from home more or from locations outside the office, or enabling more suitable hours, can be an effective way to reduce stress. It can also help people be more efficient, and a productive person feels more happy and secure in their job."

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