Job Stress Index 2022: stress levels in the workplace remain high

Chronic stress in the workplace not only affects people’s health but costs the economy billions of Swiss francs every year. Health Promotion Switzerland recently published new figures on the subject.

The Job Stress Index measures the average correlation between work-related stress and the resources offered to employed people in Switzerland. Sources of stress include time pressure and organisational problems, while resources encompass a high degree of freedom to act and supportive behaviour from superiors. Stress costs the Swiss economy around CHF 6.5 billion per year, according to the Swiss Health Promotion Foundation, which this year surveyed a representative sample of 3,022 workers between the ages of 16 and 65.

Effects of the Covid-19 pandemic

Almost 30% of employees are still in the critical area with significantly more stress than resources. But for the first time since 2014, the number of people who feel emotionally exhausted has risen to over 30%. The additional strain stems mainly from pandemic-related phenomena such as fear of infection, social isolation and increased use of IT and communication technologies. These factors not only have an impact on the perception of stress, but also on health. Although Health Promotion Switzerland gives employers and employees a good overall mark for coping with the pandemic, increased emotional exhaustion is a warning sign that employers should not ignore.

Workplace impact of chronic stress

On average, employees miss 6.5 days of work per year. Chronically stressed employees become ill more often and are also less productive at work. It is therefore worthwhile for companies to systematically address this issue within the framework of workplace health management (WHM), specifically to minimise stress on employees and offer them more resources. Chronic stress cannot always be prevented by such efforts. Even so, if WHM is systematically deployed, chronic stress can be recognised sooner and the individual concerned helped at an early stage. Absence-related costs can be cut by up to 25% through lower absenteeism.

The many benefits of workplace health management

The specialists at XpertCenter AG advise and support companies in setting up their own WHM system. An initial assessment of the current situation is made through interviews with management and/or the human resources department. Afterwards, an appropriate package of measures is developed, including an optimised absence management process, plus onsite/online workshops and training for employees and managers on topics such as mindfulness, resilience and work-life balance. Measures can also focus on manager awareness to encourage appreciative, health-promoting behaviour.

Individual job stress index as a barometer

Health Promotion Switzerland provides an online survey tool that companies can use to determine if their workforce is feeling drained and, if so, to what extent. Comparing results with the rest of Switzerland can then mark out the operational gains that may result from improvements in a company’s stress situation. The WHM consultants at XpertCenter AG are accredited by Health Promotion Switzerland and can help you to use the tool and assess the results.

Invest in your employees’ health

XpertCenter AG’s Health Management Competence Centre will support you as you strive to protect your employees’ health and wellbeing. Our WHM experts can be trusted to advise and support you personally and locally in setting up or expanding your WHM policy. For more information about our services, visit us here. We look forward to hearing from you.