by Chicago Tribune Staff
August 26, 2012
"According to an annual survey by Harris Interactive, 73 percent of Americans are stressed at work. The top source of stress, felt by 11 percent of survey respondents, is low wages. For women, that rises to 14 percent. The next irritants are annoying co-workers (10 percent); commuting (9 percent); workload (9 percent); and a job outside a chosen career (8 percent). But workers' fear of losing their job dropped to 4 percent, from 9 percent in 2011.
Still, "anxiety among employees reduces productivity, lessens job satisfaction, lowers morale and has a negative impact on health," survey spokesman John Swartz, regional director of career services at Everest College, which commissioned the survey, said in a statement.
"Workplace stress costs U.S. employers billions, and it's critical that both employer and employee take action to reduce this epidemic.
"Whether you've been in a career for 20 years or are just starting out, stay current on new trends, learn practical skills and consider choosing a field of study that will translate into a job in a growth industry like health care," Swartz said.
Among Americans with high school diplomas or less education, 14 percent of those surveyed ranked low pay as the top stressor, followed by annoying co-workers (12 percent). College graduates ranked workload (13 percent) and low pay (11 percent) Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.
Harris Interactive surveyed 898 employed adults ages 18 and older by phone from June 21 to July 1. Results were weighted for age, sex, geographic region and race where necessary to align them with the population. And yet 26 percent of respondents said nothing stressed them out at their job, up from 21 percent in 2011.
But 37 percent of the stressless had a household income of more than $100,000."
Stressed for success?
Here are the top causes of workplace stress from the recently released Harris Interactive poll.
1. Low pay 11%
2. Annoying co-workers 10%
3. Commuting 9%
4. Workload 9%
5. Working outside chosen career 8%
6. Work-life balance 5%
7. Limited opportunity for advancement 5%
8. The boss 4%