In The Age newspaper for 31 July 2008, James Adonis wrote the article “Eight signs your workplace is crook”. One of those signs was stressed workers. He quoted a report by Watson Wyatt where employees listed stress as a major reason for leaving a job. Stress did not rank in the employers’ top five reasons for people leaving.
This disconnect illustrates a major misunderstanding about workplace stress by employers and, maybe, employees. The ultimate control measure for workplace stress is to leave a job and I recommend this to colleagues who do not see it as a viable hazard control option.
The challenge is to make sure that the next job is not, or does not become, a similarly stressful job.
The executive summary of the report says
“Forty-eight percent of organizations say that job-related stress — created by long hours and doing more with less — affects business performance. Although only 5 percent are taking strong action to address it…”
The focus on business performance may reflect the perspective of the report writers but as it is only available for purchase for $US49, I would ask for the report (2007/2008 Staying@Work Report: Building an Effective Health & Productivity Framework) at a library.