World, Turks on verge of burnout

World, Turks on verge of burnout

World, Turks on verge of burnout

Respondents to a recent survey say that two of the three main sources of stress were professional rather than personal: jobs and customers. Hürriyet photo

Work-related stress is on the rise for half of employees across the world, while the figure goes up to 59 percent in Turkey, according to a recent survey by Regus, a leading global provider of flexible workspace, with over 16,000 professionals across more than 80 countries. 

Some 48 percent of global respondents said their stress levels have risen in the past year, possibly as an indirect effect of instability in the eurozone and worries over austerity measures, but also due to a number of country-specific factors, the report said. The reasons behind rising levels of stress include “local factors that range from eurozone instability to difficulties in managing the speed of change, in economies where obsolete hierarchical structures frustrate youth and entrepreneurship, to the age-old struggle which sees women in emerging economies engaged in reconciling traditional housekeeping roles with the demands of the contemporary workplace,” according to the report.

Chinese most stressed

China tops the list of those feeling increased stress, with 75 percent of respondents saying they have become more stressed in the past year. Fears of an economic slowdown and possible spill-over effects of the eurozone debt crisis have reportedly had a negative effect on the Chinese economic outlook. 
Signs of a slowdown in the Chinese economy, in return, may have impacted the German outlook more than that of other countries, given that Germany is the only European country with a trade surplus with China, driving up stress levels in Europe’s largest economy of Europe by 58 percent, well above the average.

When stress-related conditions, which reportedly account for between 75 percent and 90 percent of doctor’s visits, turn into sick days or, worse, into chronic conditions, businesses are likely to see their productivity drop dramatically, the Regus report said. “Any escalation in stress should be regarded as highly negative and dangerous, particularly as the global economy is indeed emerging from a difficult patch,” it said.

Respondents revealed that two of the three main sources of stress were professional rather than personal: their jobs, with 59 percent, and customers with 37 percent. 

Job-related stress was particularly high in Mexico with 75 percent, China with 73 percent, Canada with 63 and Japan with 67 percent. Personal financial worries were lower than average in China with 39 percent, and Japan with 21 percent. By contrast, personal financial worries were a major cause of stress in South Africa with 62 percent, Canada, India, and the United States, with 50 percent.

Personal causes of stress were highlighted by less than a fifth of respondents, with the exception of personal finances, with 44 percent.

Flexible working arrangements are regarded by 58 percent of respondents as a more family-friendly option, confirming that it is a key component of a good work-life balance. Some 66 percent of Turkish respondents from 116 firms, who said their level of stress increased 59 percent last year, think flexible schedules are a potential solution for increasing stress. 

“A high level of stress is not only a burden on workers, but also on companies. Companies also see that stressed workers [do not] performance as required, need more rest days, and become less productive,” said Erim Denel, country manager at Regus Turkey, according to a company press release.