Stressful Work Environments Lead Workers to Seek New Employment

April 17, 2014 — Does employee stress impact retention? An international poll conducted by shows that 42% of U.S. respondents have left a job due to an overly stressful environment; workplace stress has also caused an additional 35% to consider changing jobs. A related Monster US survey has found that 55% respondents experience very stressful lives; this percentage rises to 57% when specifically related to work stress. Only 3% of respondents report experiencing no stress in their work life.

Monster asked visitors to their site the question, "Has stress from work ever driven you to a job change?" and received over 6,700 responses. Findings from the United States included:

  • 42% of respondents answered "I have purposely changed jobs due to a stressful work environment";
  • 35% of respondents answered "I thought about changing my job because of a stressful work environment"; and
  • 23% of respondents answered "I have never changed my job specifically due to a stressful work environment.

Internationally, respondents from India are the least likely to switch jobs due to stress. Only 19% have ever left a job because it was too stressful, and 57% report that they have never switched jobs because their current one is too stressful. Workplace stress is of most concern in France and the United Kingdom, with almost half (48%) of respondents from both countries' noting they have changed jobs due to a stressful work environment. Further, only 11% of French respondents have not changed jobs due to stress.
A "Workplace Stress" survey conducted by Monster in the US provided further insight into various aspects of a stressful work environment and its impact on personal life. The survey revealed

  • The most commonly reported workplace stressors include: supervisor relationship (40%) amount of work (39%) work-life balance (34%) and coworker relationships (31%).
  • 61% of respondents believe that workplace stress has been the cause of an illness.
  • 46% of respondents have missed time at work due to work-related stress; 7% report illness so severe it caused hospitalization.
  • 84% of respondents claim that their stressful job has impacted their personal lives; 26% report sleepless nights, 24% report depression, 21% report family or relationship issues, and 19% report physical ailments.
  • The most common methods of coping with work-related stress include: talking to a friend/colleague/spouse (55%), exercising (40%), eating (35%), stepping away from work (35%), taking a day off (32%), and drinking after work (24%).
  • When asked "What does your office do to help alleviate stress in the workplace?" 13% of respondents answered "extra time-off"; 11% answered "ability to work from home"; and 66% answered "nothing.

Workplace stress can come from any part of a job and triggers are different for everyone, so finding a true solution to stress tends to require a personalized approach. While every job will come with a degree of stress it is important to act if it becomes unmanageable," said Mary Ellen Slayter, career advice expert for Monster


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