Research* has shown that 66 percent of European employees feel too stressed at work. This is seen in the results of a survey of 1,322 European employees conducted by Lepaya. Germany leads the way when it comes to the number of employees dealing with high levels of stress. For as many as 71 percent of German workers, stress levels are exceptionally high, compared to two thirds of Belgian workers, 70 percent of British workers and only 56 percent of Dutch workers.
One possible explanation for the average Dutch worker being less likely to feel overly stressed at work seems to be a higher degree of involvement by the employer. The average Dutch employer pays considerable attention to stress management and avoiding excessive work demands. Where in the Netherlands 52 percent of workers expect more from their boss in terms of stress reduction in the workplace, this is significantly higher in other European countries: 57 percent in the United Kingdom, 61 percent in Germany and no less than 65 percent in Belgium.
Stress management skills
Dealing with stress at work is also a pressing issue from an employee’s perspective. More than half of respondents indicated that they would like to receive help from their employer to be better prepared for stressful situations. The demand for stress management in Belgium and the UK is higher than in neighboring countries, where 76 percent in Belgium would be open to stress management training at work, in the United Kingdom this rises slightly to 77 percent compared to 71 percent in Germany and 60 percent in the Netherlands.
“It’s nice to see this willingness among workers, but employers in particular have many opportunities to improve their sustainable employability. Stress has a number of causes and preventing a high workload is not always the only solution. Sometimes it simply has to do with the expectations between employer and employee. It is therefore important to properly map out the underlying causes of stress. Get to the root of the problem and also focus on stress-reducing tactics and training,” says René Janssen, founder of Lepaya.
Coping with return-to-office stress
Now that workers are slowly making their way back to the office, stress seems more relevant than ever. The return to the office seems to add to the average stress level in the countries surveyed. Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed expect that a full return to the workplace will negatively impact their stress levels. On a country specific level, the Netherlands stands out as the least affected. Just over a quarter of the Dutch anticipate experiencing more stress when they are expected to return to the office, compared to over 40 percent in Belgium, the United Kingdom and Germany.
“The way we work has fundamentally changed and skills are more important than ever. In a predominantly digital world, especially now that we are partially returning to the office, the mental resilience of your employees will make or break your company. Stress management, agility and resilience are vital skills that the corona crisis has revealed,” said Janssen.
*Research from Lepaya