Better Overworked Than Unemployed

Apr 09, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Bill Doucette, vice-president of human resources for National Equipment Services Inc., says employees don’t have much choice when it comes to dealing with the stress of increased workloads and less help.

“People are more willing to put up with it because they know the alternative,” he told Crain’s Chicago Business.

ComPsych, an international employee assistance company, recently polled 700 employees of its U.S. clients and found respondents view their jobs as being less stressful than those asked the same question in a previous survey six months ago.

Forty-nine percent of respondents in the current survey said their jobs were high stress compared to 63 percent in the previous poll. Seven percent said their jobs were low stress compared to five percent before.

Forty-four percent said their on-the-job stress level was “constant but manageable.” This figure was 12 points higher than the 32 percent recorded in the last survey.

ComPsych’s research suggests employees may be dealing better with stress on the job and some of that may be attributed to the same people learning to take-off from work when it gets to be too much.

Fifty-two percent of those surveyed cited stress as the most common reason for not showing up for work, compared with 38% in ComPsych’s fall survey.

Moderator’s Comment: Based on your observations, what
impact would you say stress has had on the workplace performance within your
company, client companies and vendors?

A friend recently told us that he thought the stress on
the job was actually making people more polite. He reasoned that, with the prospect
of being out of a job always hanging over your shoulder, you don’t want to be
making enemies with someone who you may need help from in the future. George
Anderson – Moderator

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