Stress

Workplace Stress Is at a Record High. Here's What's Causing It.

Stress is the new normal, a new study reveals.
Workplace Stress Is at a Record High. Here's What's Causing It.
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3 min read

From fears of a robot uprising to the rocky political climate, stress has reached an all-time high and it’s coming from both in and outside the workplace.

According to a recent study by Udemy that surveyed more than 1,000 full-time employees in the U.S., more than half of participants said they feel more stressed today than they did one year ago. Not only that, but 60 percent of employees report being stressed all or most of the time at work.

Related: Stress Kills! 5 Ways to Keep Your Stress Levels Low.

And this stress comes from a lot of places. In the office, the top stress factor for employees is the fear that they’ll lose their jobs to technology. A whopping 55 percent are worried that AI and new tech will replace them. Outside the office, the top stressor stems from the current political climate (28 percent). To most people today, politics turns out to be more stressful than personal finance and family responsibilities.

It turns out that millennials are the most stressed-out generation too. Two-thirds of surveyed millennial workers said they are stressed out all or most of the time at work. In fact, 30 percent said they are “significantly” more stressed than they were a year ago. According to the report, “that’s because they have a longer career runway ahead and will be the ones on the front lines as artificial intelligence (AI) and automation become even greater threats to traditional employment.”

Workplace stress isn’t cheap either, and that goes for both employers and employees. Forty-two percent of those surveyed are paying for online skills courses and bootcamps out of their own pockets. However, most would prefer employers to take the initiative and offer training programs instead. Ninety-five percent of millennials and gen Xers surveyed said they believe that company-provided professional development programs, skills training and reskilling is important for their long-term career success and well-being.

Related: 10 Effective Ways to Beat Stress

According to the study, researchers estimate workplace stress accounts for up to $190 billion in healthcare costs. To drive these costs down, 72 percent of millennial employees said they believe that companies should provide wellness initiatives to workers. It makes sense too -- today nearly half of every surveyed age group (millennials, gen X and baby boomers) say they meditate or exercise to reduce stress, and many invest in therapy or outside counseling.

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