Stress in the Workplace Statistics (2024 Update)

Written by Nina Julia | Last updated: January 11, 2024

Report Highlights:

  • 94% or more than 9 in 10 workers have chronic stress at work [41].
  • Workplace stress affects women (54%) more than men (47%) [37].
  • It affects workers younger than 40 years old the most at 58% [37].
  • 99% of workers say workplace stress affects their mental well-being [3].
  • The information and cultural industries had the worst mental health index score of 59.9. The professional, technical, and scientific sectors scored the best MHI of 75.4 [29].
  • 10.4% of the American workforce is overworked, working over 50 hours weekly [43].
  • 80% of workers believe the COVID-19 pandemic worsened workplace stress and burnout [39].
  • 56% of American workers say low wage is their primary workplace stressor [38].
  • Job insecurity increases one’s odds of developing poor health by 50% and receiving a medical illness diagnosis by 35% [24].
  • Workplace stress is the fifth major cause of death in the US [35].
  • Workplace stress causes as many as 120,000 deaths yearly [24].
  • Each year, untreated workplace-related mental illnesses cost the country $3.7 trillion [12].
  • 30% of workers take prescription medications for workplace stress [22].
  • 78% of American companies and organizations have set up or are planning to offer mental health resources to their employees [28].
  • A reduction in workplace stress can increase sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and task accuracy by 19% [2].

Workplace stress or job stress refers to the harmful way we physically and emotionally respond to conflicts between work demands and our capabilities to meet those demands. The higher the demands and the less control we have over them, the higher the risk of workplace stress.

94% or more than 9 in 10 American workers feel chronic stress at work [41]. If left unchecked, workplace stress can negatively impact all aspects of our lives.

Call out text box saying 94% or 9 in 10 workers in the US report feeling chronic stress at work.

Read on to discover the current stress in the workplace statistics in the US.

Workplace Stress and How It Affects the Body

99% of American workers agree that workplace stress impacts their mental well-being [3].

1 in 4 workers experiences severe signs and symptoms of burnout [3]. It lowers their productivity and efficiency. It also makes them more cynical and apathetic toward anything work-related.

Workplace stress also results in adverse health effects [3,44]:

  • 83% say they’re emotionally drained from stress in the workplace.
  • 62% developed work-related neck pain.
  • 44% complained of stressed eyes.
  • 34% reported sleep problems like difficulty sleeping.
  • 12% said their hands hurt.

12% had to call in sick due to workplace stress.

Common Signs of Stress in the Workplace

According to the American Psychological Association (APA) [38]:

  • 26% of stressed workers show a lack of interest. They also have reduced energy and decreased motivation due to workplace stress.
  • 21% admit they’re unable to focus or concentrate.
  • 19% also note a lack of effort at the workplace.
  • 18% report reduced productivity.
  • 17% say work-related stress makes them feel like quitting their jobs.
  • An equal portion (17%) also say they have negative thoughts because of job stress.
  • 15% admit to feeling angry or irritable toward their coworkers. They also feel these negative emotions toward clients or customers.
  • Only 20% say work-related stress does not affect them negatively.

According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS) [44]:

  • 30% say job pressures gave them back pain.
  • 28% report feeling stressed out due to job pressures.
  • Fatigue occurs in 20% of employees with workplace stress.
  • 13% develop headaches from their job pressures.

Statistics on Stress in the Workplace

Stress in the workplace affects more than 9 in 10 American workers.

It also affects more than 1 in 2 women and nearly 3 in 5 workers aged 40 and older. They’re the groups most affected by workplace stress.

How Many Americans are Affected by Severe Workplace Stress?

94% of workers report chronic stress at work, says the AIS [41].

Wrike’s survey of 1,600 employees shows almost the same result. According to their survey, 95% of American workers report stress at work [19]:

  • 39% of them report moderate stress.
  • 27% say they feel low stress.
  • 23% say their stress levels are high.
  • 6% report unsustainably high-stress levels.

Only 5% of American workers report no stress [19].

However, the American Psychological Association (APA) shows a higher percentage. According to the APA, 21% of workers don’t experience workplace stress [38].

Gallup’s 2022 report also shows the US and Canada Region have a workplace stress prevalence rate of 50%. This means 1 in 2 of the region’s workers feel stress several times in a workday [37].

Prevalence of Stress in the Workforce by Gender

According to Gallup’s 2021 report, stress in the workplace occurs among females the most, affecting 54% of women [37].

The prevalence among male workers is lower. Workplace stress affects only 47% of male workers.

Note: Data came from Gallup and included the United States and Canada.

Prevalence of Stress in the Workforce by Age

Job stress appears highest among workers younger than 40 years, says Gallup. It affects 58% of their group [37].

It affects workers 40 years old and older the least. Only 43% report having stress in the workplace.

Note: Data came from Gallup and included the United States and Canada.

How Much Stress is in the Workplace Around the World?

Gallup’s 2022 report shows 44% of the global workforce dealt with workplace stress in 2021 [37].

It increased by 2.3% compared to 2020’s 43%.

Workplace Stress by Region

Gallup’s report also shows East Asia has the highest rate of workplace stress [37].

  • Workplace stress affected 55% of the East Asia’s workforce.
  • The US and Canada Region ranks second, together with the Latin American and Caribbean Region. 50% of these regions’ workforces experience stress in the workplace.
  • The least affected region is the Commonwealth of Independent States. Only 19% of their workforce report workplace stress.

tABLE showing the regions across the globe with the most (East Asia) to least (Commonwealth of Independent States) stressed workers.

Workplace Stress Statistics on Industry and Job-Specific Stress

Data below came from LifeWorks’ November 2022 MHI report on working Americans [29]. The higher the score, the better the mental health and the lower the mental health risks.

  • Distressed: 0 to 49
  • Strained: 50 to 79
  • Optimal: 80 to 100

According to LifeWorks, the information and cultural industries were the most stressful workplaces in November 2022, with a mental health index (MHI) of 59.9. Its score dropped 9.6 points compared to October 2022’s 69.5.

The food industry ranked second with an MHI of 60.4. Its MHI score decreased by 2.3 points from October 2022’s 62.7.

The fishing and agricultural sectors and the forestry and hunting sectors ranked third. They had an MHI score of 61.1. Their MHI score dropped 9.5 points compared to the past month’s 70.7.

None of the industries scored “optimal” (80 to 100). However, these industries saw modest increases in their MHI scores. They’re also the industries with the highest MHI scores.

  • Professional, technical, and scientific industries: MHI increased by 1.5 points from 73.9 in October 2022 to 75.4 in November 2022
  • Accommodation industry: MHI increased by 1.8 points from 72.3 in October 2022 to 74.1 in November 2022
  • Utility industries: MHI increased by 0.2 points from 72.4 in October 2022 to 72.5 in November 2022

Overworked Employees Statistics

10.4% of American workers are overworked. On average, they work over 50 hours weekly [43]. Data came from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Men work longer hours than women [40].

  • 14% of male employees say they work very long hours.
  • Among female employees, only 7% report the same.

Forty-one developed member countries comprise the OECD. The US ranks 13th among the countries with the most overworked employees [43].

Frequency of Overworking Among American Workers

A survey of 1,001 American workers shows that 71% overwork or work long hours at least one or more days a week [13].

  • 23% work long hours at least one day a week.
  • 29% overwork two to three days a week.
  • 14% overwork four to five days a week.
  • 5% work very long hours six to seven days a week.
  • Only 29% of American workers overwork less than one day a week.

Reasons for Overworking

Inc And Go’s 2022 report cites employer expectations as the primary reason for overworking [13].

  • Most (43%) employees say employer expectations push them to overwork.
  • 39% say they need to meet deadlines.
  • The same percentage (39%) say they work long hours to catch up on their workloads.
  • 38% say they work longer hours to earn more.
  • 36% say they need to work longer hours to make more money.

Benefits of Overworking

Overworking also has benefits, says Inc and Go [13]:

  • 53% said it helped develop their skills
  • 49% said overworking helped increase their income.
  • 40% said it helps boosted their career growth.

Most American workers say overworking positively impacts their careers [13]:

  • 64% became more productive. 21% say it had a negative impact on their productivity.
  • 58% improved their work quality. 23% say it lowered the quality of their work.
  • 55% became more loyal to their employers. 23% say it negatively impacted their loyalty to their employers.
  • 54% developed better work relationships. 19% noted that overworking made work relationships worse.
  • 49% said it also increased their job satisfaction. 32% admitted it made them less satisfied with their jobs.

Negative Consequences of Overworking

Overworking has negative consequences. According to Inc and Go [13]:

  • 49% said it increased their stress levels.
  • 42% said it made them more emotionally drained.
  • 40% also reported feeling more physically fatigued.
  • 37% note it worsened their mood.
  • 37% say it increased their anxiety.

Overwork also has negatively impacted their personal lives [13]:

  • 36% say they lack time to be with other people.
  • 34% say it affected their personal responsibilities.

COVID-19 and Workplace Stress: The Impact of COVID-19 on Stress Levels in the Workplace

Indeed reported the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to workplace stress [39].

  • 4 in 5 (80%) workers said the pandemic contributed to the severity and increased rate of workplace burnout
  • 2 in 3 (67%) workers believe the COVID-19 pandemic worsened their burnout.
    • Before the pandemic, 2 in 5 (43%) workers suffer from burnout. Their burnout rate spiked by 20.9% as the pandemic spread in 2021. By that time, more than 1 in 2 workers (52%) were already experiencing burnout.
    • Only 13% of workers say their burnout improved during the pandemic.

Callout text showing the percentage of workers with burnout before (43%) and during the pandemic (52%).

The burnout rate also increased across the different generations. The highest increase in rate was seen among Gen-Xers, says Indeed’s report [39].

Before the pandemic (January 2020), 2 in 5 (40%) Gen-Xers were dealing with burnout. By February 2021, we saw a 35% spike in their burnout rate. At 54%, burnout affected more than 1 in 2 Gen X workers.

Even before the pandemic, millennials have always had the highest burnout rate. It affected 53% of their population.

As the pandemic spread, their burnout rate increased to 59%. Again, this makes Millennial workers the most affected group.

However, compared to the other groups, they had the lowest increase in burnout rate at only 11.3%.

Baby Boomers have always had the lowest burnout rate.

Before the pandemic, only 24% of their workers reported burnout. As the virus ravaged the country in 2021, their burnout rate increased to 31%.

They’re still the group with the lowest burnout rate during the pandemic. However, they’re also the group with the second-highest spike in burnout rate of 29.2%.

There’s also a difference in burnout rates between on-site and virtual workers. According to Indeed [39]:

  • 38% of those who work from home report their burnout worsened. Among those who work on-site, only 28% report the same.
  • 25% of those who work on-site also say the pandemic hasn’t affected their burnout. The percentage is lower among those who work from home at 13%.
  • 53% of virtual and 27% of on-site workers say they work longer hours than before.
  • 27% of virtual and on-site workers also have trouble “unplugging” from work.

All these contribute to the higher burnout rate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most Common Causes of Stress in the Workplace

More than half of Americans say low wage is their primary workplace stressor. Other causes of workplace stress include:

  • Heavy workload and time pressure
  • Difficult relationships with coworkers and supervisors
  • Unclear or conflicting job expectations
  • Lack of control or autonomy
  • Poor work-life balance

1. Low Wage is the Number One Stressor for American Adults

56% of workers cite low pay as the number one stressor for American adults in 2021, says the APA. This number is up by 14.3% compared to two years ago, before the pandemic. In 2019, only 49% cited low pay as their number one stressor in the workplace [38].

Callout text showing how low wages as a workplace stressor among workers increased between 2019 and 2021.

The federal minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 per hour. However, 30 states and the District of Columbia have increased their local minimum wages, the highest being $16.10 per hour [30,36].

With the increasing costs, 62% of workers support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour [15].

2. Heavy Workload and Time Pressure

According to the APA, 50% of workers cite heavy workloads as a source of workplace stress [38].

Zippia Research shows a lower percentage of 39% [25].

Heavy workloads do contribute to workplace stress. However, 79% of workers also admit not having enough work causes more stress. A heavy workload is better than not having enough work [45].

If they’re paid more, 74% of workers even said they’d rather work more [45]. They say it’s better than reducing their workload and receiving lesser compensation.

Another factor that contributes to workplace stress is time pressure.

However, only 18% of workers have set up a proper time management system [4].

82% don’t have any time management system in place. They either list their tasks by hand or deal with whatever comes first or what’s important at that time [4].

3. Difficult Relationships with Colleagues or Supervisors

35% of workers say their boss or supervisor is their major source of workplace stress. 80% of workers even admit a change in leadership already impacts their stress levels [45].

The APA’s 2021 report showed a higher percentage.

44% said problems with their supervisors affected their stress levels in 2021. This figure is up by 25.7% compared to 2019’s 35% [38].

Negative office politics and problems with colleagues also impact workplace stress.

43% said their colleagues affected their stress levels in 2021. The rate increased by 22.9% from 2019’s 35% [38].

4. Unclear or Conflicting Job Expectations

31% of workers say unclear and conflicting job expectations from their supervisors contribute to workplace stress. 20% also cited conflicts and confusion among colleagues as a source of job stress [16].

According to the APA, 48% of workers cited unrealistic job expectations as a source of workplace stress in 2021. It’s an 11.6% increase from 2019’s 43% [38].

Callout text showing the rate of workers citing unrealistic job expectations as a source of stress has increased during the pandemic.

5. Lack of Control or Autonomy

According to Zippia, 28% of workers feel they’re never or rarely in control of their work. Out of one week, they only have one day on average where they feel like they’re in control [4].

Only 20% of workers say they have their work under control each day, says Zippia.

Callout text showing the percentage of workers who are in control of their work, compared to those who don’t.

6. Poor Work-Life Balance

19% of workers cite poor work-life balance as one of their workplace stressors [25].

According to Zippia, the major factor that affect work-life balance is personal perfectionism [26].

  • 32.8% say their poor work-life balance is mainly caused by personal perfectionism. It’s preventing them from having a balanced professional and personal life.
  • Company culture ranks second. 24.2% of workers say this affects their work-life balance.
  • 16% points to burnout as the culprit of their unhealthy work-life balance.
  • 13.8% say it’s their work itself.
  • 13.2% say their bosses and supervisors affect their work-life balance

Other Common Sources of Workplace Stress

More than 2 in 5 workers also cite health and safety as sources of workplace stress [38].

  • 45% say their medical conditions contribute to job stress.
  • 44% say their workplace’s dangerous, unsafe, and unpleasant conditions increase stress.

25% of workers also see their jobs or professions as their number one life stressor [32].

Call out text box saying 25% of workers see their work as the main workplace stressor.

Consequences of Stress in the Workplace: Effects of Stress on Employees and Organizations

The most common consequence of excessive workplace stress is physical and mental health problems. Other consequences include:

  • Decreased productivity
  • Higher absenteeism and turnover rates
  • Negative impact on overall organizational performance

1. Physical and Mental Health Problems

Workplace stress, especially job insecurity, increases the odds of developing poor health by 50%. Highly-demanding jobs increase the odds of receiving doctor-diagnosed medical illnesses by 35% [24].

Call out text box saying workplace stress increases the odds of developing poor health and getting diagnosed with a medical illness.

Employees who work long hours are also 67% more likely to suffer from a heart attack [35]. Working long hours also increases their mortality risk by nearly 20% [24].

Job stress also affects one’s mental well-being [7].

  • 42.4% of workers with work-related stress present with indicative scores of anxiety. 22.1% have suggestive scores of anxiety.
  • 15.7% show indicative scores of depression. 16.6% have suggestive scores of depression.

Data came from a study of 1,272 workers in community pharmacies with work-related stress.

8.2% admit using alcohol or illicit drugs to manage their symptoms of work-related stress [7].

The consequences of stress in the workplace are far-reaching [45].

  • 76% of employees say it affects their personal relationships negatively.
  • 16% reported quitting their jobs due to a stressful workplace.

2. Decreased Productivity and Engagement

54% of American workers aren’t engaged at work, says ZIppia’s 2022 survey [9].

17% of the American workforce is also actively disengaged [20].

The rate has steadily increased since 2018.

In 2018, the percentage of actively disengaged American workers was 13%. It decreased from the previous year’s 16%. However, the rate gradually increased as the pandemic spread — 14% in 2020, 16% in 2021, and 17% in 2022 [20].

Employee disengagement reduces the productivity rate by 18%. It also lowers the profitability rate by 15% [9]. Absenteeism among disengaged workers is also higher at 37% [8].

3. Higher Absenteeism and Turnover Rates

Less engaged employees are 37% more likely to take time off work, says Zippia [9].

Workplace stress makes at least a million American workers miss work per day [44].

Employee disengagement also increases the turnover rate by nearly 50% [9].

The turnover rate describes the percentage of workers who leave their companies within a certain period. Generally, companies should aim for a turnover rate of 10% or lower and a retention rate of 90% or higher [1].

In 2020, the US had a high employee turnover rate of 57%. It’s a 26.7% increase from pre-pandemic 2019’s 45% [5].

Call out text box showing the turnover rates from 2019 to 2020.

4. Negative Impact on Overall Organizational Performance

A disengaged employee’s absenteeism, lost productivity, and reduced profitability can cost the company at least 34% of the employee’s annual salary. This translates to a loss of $3,400 out of every $10,000 an employee makes [8].

Call out text box showing how much a company can lose on employee disengagement.

Now, multiply that by the number of employees a company has. The total can reach staggering amounts of millions of dollars yearly.

A high turnover rate also significantly costs the company.

Replacing an employee also costs the company. The amount can range anywhere from 30% to 200% of the previous worker’s yearly salary [9].

Employee disengagement costs companies anywhere from $450 billion to $550 billion yearly [47].

It also costs the global economy $7.8 trillion annually [33].

Companies with disengaged employees miss out on the benefits of having engaged employees. These include [9]:

  • 21% higher profits compared to companies with disengaged workers
  • Engaged workers who are 87% less likely to switch jobs compared to disengaged workers
  • Engaged workers who are 22% more productive than disengaged workers
  • Engaged workers who are 21% more profitable than disengaged workers

Workplace Stress Number One Killer and Mortality Cause

Workplace stress is the country’s fifth leading cause of mortality. It causes at least 120,000 deaths per year [24,35].

Call out text box saying workplace stress is the 5th leading cause of death and kills 120,000 workers yearly.

A silent killer, workplace stress also contributes to the leading causes of death.

Overwork increased heart disease deaths by 42% between 2000 and 2016. It also increased deaths caused by stroke by 19% during the same period [35]. Data came from the World Health Organization (WHO).

At least 745,000 people worldwide have died from heart attacks and strokes due to overwork. In China alone, about a million people die from overwork each year.

Workplace Heat Stress and Mortality Risk

Workplace heat stress or working in hot environments also increases mortality risk. From 1992 to 2017, the US recorded over 70,000 serious injuries due to workplace heat stress. Heat-stress injury also resulted in 815 deaths [21]. Data came from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA).

Call out text box saying heat stress caused 70,000 serious injuries and 815 deaths from 1992 to 2017.

Construction workers have a high death risk due to workplace heat stress. They may comprise only 6% of the country’s total workplace. But they make up 36% of all workplace heat-related stress between 1992 to 2016 [14].

About 2.4 million farmworkers are also in danger of workplace stress [17]. They’re 20 times more likely to succumb to heat-related illnesses and injuries than other workers [31].

Annual Cost of Stress in the Workplace

According to Health Canal, untreated workplace-related mental illnesses cost the US about $3.7 trillion yearly [12]:

  • At $1.4 trillion, the highest proportion (37.8%) goes to healthcare and treatment costs.
  • Turnover due to mental illness costs the US at least $1.3 trillion. It’s the second highest cost, making up 35.1% of the total cost.
  • The country also loses $1 trillion (27%) in lost working time.

According to Gallup, anxiety and depression-induced absenteeism costs the US $47.6 billion yearly in missed days and lost productivity [42].

However, the US only spends $43 billion on mental health treatment yearly. This makes up only about 1.1% of the country’s unmet workplace mental health needs [12].

States are also not investing enough in their worker’s mental healthcare. This leaves a considerable portion of workers with unmet or untreated workplace-related mental illnesses [12].

Cost of Stress in the Workplace, by State

California has the highest economic burden, says Health Canal [12]:

  • California’s unmet or untreated workplace mental health needs costs the state $451.98 billion yearly.
  • Texas ranks second with $242.20 billion.
  • New York ranks third with $220.37 billion.
  • Florida lands fourth place with $194.23 billion.
  • Pennsylvania follows with $149.15 billion.

States with the lowest economic burden include [12]:

  • Alaska: $7.87 billion
  • Vermont: $12.03 billion
  • Wyoming: $12.33 billion
  • District of Columbia: $13.15 billion
  • South Dakota: $14.96 billion

Cost of Stress in the Workplace, by Industry

Health Canal also says the manufacturing industry has the highest workplace stress cost [12]:

  • The manufacturing industry has the highest annual cost due to untreated workplace-related mental illnesses, amounting to $550 billion.
  • The infotech and communication industries rank second with $490 billion.
  • The finance, real estate, and insurance industries follow in third place with $330 billion.
  • The education, health, and social service sectors also have an annual cost of $330 billion.

Industries with the lowest unmet mental health needs include [12]:

  • Agriculture: $130 billion
  • Utilities: $130 billion
  • Professional, administration, and management: $140 billion

Cost of Stress and Violence at the Workplace

Workplace assault and violence cost the US $121 billion yearly. They decrease employee productivity by about 50%. They also increase the turnover rate by 30% to 40% [46].

At least 761,000 American workers fall victim to workplace assault and violence per year [46].

Call out text box saying 761,000 workers in the US get exposed to workplace violence yearly and cost the US $121 billion.

According to the National Safety Council [46]:

  • 85% of workplace violence cases are committed with criminal intent.
  • 7% occurs between workers.
  • 5% involves the worker and a personal relationship.
  • 3% occur between customers and clients.

Assaults are considered the fifth leading cause of death in the workplace. In 2021, workplace assault and violence caused 481 deaths [6].

1.2 million Americans got exposed to workplace assault and violence in 2020. This resulted in 20,050 injuries and illnesses in 2020 and caused missed work days [6].

Cost of Workplace Heat Stress

Workplace heat stress or working in a hot environment costs the US $100 billion yearly [18].

According to the OHSA, a single workplace heat prostration injury can have a direct cost of $37,658. The indirect cost of a single workplace heat prostration injury can also amount to $41,423 [18].

Fainting or syncope due to workplace heat stress costs an average of $30,000 for direct costs. About $33,000 go to indirect costs [18].

A study of Army personnel treated for heat illness shows [18]:

  • Inpatient care due to workplace heat exhaustion can cost about $4,094. For workplace heat stroke, inpatient care can increase to as high as $7,453.
  • Outpatient treatment for workplace heat exhaustion can cost anywhere from $3,024 to $4,327. For outpatient workplace heat stroke treatment, the cost can range anywhere from $5,000 to $6,878.

Importance of Addressing Stress in the Workplace

It’s impossible to eliminate stress in the workplace totally. However, reducing workplace stress can [2]:

  • Increase sales by 37%
  • Improve productivity by 31%
  • Boost task accuracy by 19%

A friendly environment that fosters friendships among employees also helps [34].

  • It increases employee satisfaction by about 50%.
  • Employees working in a friendly workplace are at least 7 times more likely to engage in their work fully.

Participating in a company’s stress reduction program also benefits the employees [11].

  • It reduces their stress levels by 31%.
  • It improves their energy and vitality by 28%.

Call out text box showing the benefits of reducing workplace stress to the employee.

Reduction of Employee Stress: Strategies for Managing Stress in the Workplace

Employes can do a lot to reduce their employees’ workplace stress [38].

  • 87% of workers think their employers’ proactiveness can help improve their mental health. It can also create a healthier workplace.
  • 34% say offering flexible hours can reduce workplace stress.
  • 32% also say encouraging them to care for their mental well-being helps.
  • An equal percentage of 30% each say their employers encouraging them to use their paid time off or take breaks during their workday can ease stress.
  • 37% of employees also need their employers to provide mental health resources.
  • 36% also say recognizing and acknowledging their contributions make the workplace healthier.

But when asked what single extra perk they need [38]:

  • 33% would rather have more money or an increase in their salary.
  • Only 14% need more flexible hours, and 13% need more time off.
  • 12% say they want more benefits.

Barring these measures, how can employees and employers reduce stress in the workplace?

Common Individual Actions to Reduce Workplace Stress

30% of workers with workplace stress take prescription medications for symptom management [22].

Men and women also manage their workplace stress differently [22].

  • 46% of women eat more to manage workplace stress, compared to 27% of men.
  • 44% of women talk about their workplace stress with family and friends. Only 21% of men do the same.
  • 19% of men tend to have sex more to manage workplace stress than 10% of women.
  • 12% of men use illicit drugs to manage job stress, compared to 2% of women.

Men and women also manage their workplace stress in similar ways [22].

  • 31% drink more caffeinated beverages.
  • 27% say they smoke to relieve stress.
  • 25% take the healthier route of reducing job stress by exercising more frequently.
  • 23% take over-the-counter as well as prescription medications.
  • 20% drink more alcoholic beverages.

According to CDC’s 2012 report on American workers and mindfulness techniques [23]:

  • 11% of the American workforce practice yoga.
  • 4.41% use meditation to reduce stress.
  • 1.21% practice tai chi.
  • 0.39% practice qigong.

The use of mindfulness techniques among the American workforce increased by 16.78% in a decade.

In 2002, only 11.68% used mindfulness techniques to reduce workplace stress. By 2012, the rate had increased to 13.64% [23].

Managing time properly also helps reduce workplace stress.

18% of workers use time management methods [4]. It gives them a sense of direction and control, which, in turn, reduces long-term stress.

Organizational Interventions to Reduce Workplace Stress

78% of American organizations either have workplace mental health resources set in place or plan to offer such services in 2023 [28]. Data came from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2022 report.

Call out text box saying 78% of US companies are offering mental health resources or planning to offer them in 2023.

Of those who don’t offer mental health services in the workplace, [28]:

  • 33% admit their employees’ mental health never crossed their minds.
  • 27% say they don’t know which mental health resources to give their employees.
  • An equal percentage (21% each) say they either don’t have the resources or providing such service is expensive.
  • An equal percentage (11% each) also say mental health isn't an issue in their organization or their employees aren't interested in such resources.

Another survey notes 52% of American companies provide wellness programs for their employees. This benefits 63 million workers, 93.7% of whom come from large companies [27]:

  • 52% offer general wellness programs like health screenings and vaccination programs.
  • 34% offer a smoking cessation program.
  • 25% provide their employees with a weight loss or stress management program.
  • 21% offer personal life coaching.
  • 18% offer meditation services.

30% of companies reward employees who complete their wellness programs. 20% also provide health insurance premium discounts to those who complete the program [27].

Wellness programs benefit employers in various ways [27].

  • They improve turnover rate, with 85% of workers saying they plan to stay with their current companies.
  • 84% of employers also noted increased productivity and better worker performance.
  • 72% say it reduced healthcare costs.
  • Absenteeism also decreased by 14% to 19%.

Participating in the company’s wellness programs also benefits employees [27].

  • 80% of workers enjoy their work more.
  • 60% say they became more productive.
  • From high health risk, 57% of those who participated in the program became low health risk.
  • 56% note a reduction in their sick days.

Workplace stress also decreases when collaboration and communication within the workplace improve [10].

  • Better collaboration can increase employee satisfaction by 17%.
  • It also increases workers' effectiveness at completing tasks by about 50%.

Companies that promote better communication and collaboration enjoy a reduction in turnover rate by about 50% [10].

Teamwork through better collaboration and communication also benefits the company and increases [10]:

  • Customer satisfaction ratings by 41%
  • Product quality by 34%
  • Product development by 30%
  • Sales by 27%

All these measures can help a company succeed.

Conclusion and Mental Health Support

Most American workers say they feel chronic stress at work. Only a small percentage say they don’t experience workplace stress and are engaged at work.

Workplace stress may be very common. However, it’s detrimental not only to employees but employers as well. Workplace stress can affect all aspects of a worker’s life if left untreated. It can disrupt their professional and personal lives. It can also affect their mental and physical well-being.

Workplace stress reduction can help improve a worker’s health. It can also boost their productivity, efficiency, and work engagement. Employers also benefit from workplace stress reduction. It reduces absenteeism and turnover rates. It also increases sales, customer satisfaction, and profits.

If you feel overwhelmed by workplace stress, please see a professional. They can help you manage stress in the workplace.

You may also contact the following organizations for support and additional information:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-985-5990 or
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 800-950-6264 or


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Nina created following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.