Toll of Stress Impacting Health Care Costs, Absenteeism and Workplace Safety
NEW YORK: July 8, 2010 – Employers understand the detrimental effects stress is having on their organizations, and are responding with multiple strategies to help workers cope, a recent survey by Buck Consultants, A Xerox Company indicates.
The survey, ‘Stress in the Workplace,’ identifies the areas most affected by stress and the strategies employed by organizations to reduce stress for their workers. The research was conducted at the WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference in May 2010. The study analyzes responses from more than 250 conference attendees, representing more than 200 organizations of various sizes and industries.
“Most employers realize that a stressed-out workforce drives up health care costs,” said Barry Hall, principal at Buck Consultants. “Employers are responding by introducing numerous methods to combat the impact of work-related stress.”
Hall noted that workplace issues highly affected by stress are:
• Health care costs – 82 percent of respondents indicate that their health care costs are significantly or moderately impacted by worker stress;
• Absenteeism – 79 percent report significant or moderate impact;
• Workplace safety – 77 percent cite significant or moderate impact.
Stress-busting: A High Priority
Survey results show 66 percent of employers have implemented at least four programs intended to reduce stress. Twenty-two percent have established eight or more programs, and some make more than 10 programs available to their workers. Only seven percent of survey respondents do not have any stress-reduction strategies in place.
The resource most commonly used to address stress is an employee assistance program (EAP), implemented by 78 percent of survey respondents. EAPs help employees deal with personal problems that may negatively affect their work performance and overall well-being.
Flexible work schedules are the next most cited strategy, offered by 63 percent of respondents.
Rounding out the top 10 strategies are:
• Work/life balance support programs (46%),
• Leadership training on worker stress (45%),
• Online healthy lifestyle programs (45%),
• Onsite fitness centers (43%),
• Physical activity programs (38%),
• Stress awareness campaigns (35%),
• Financial management classes (30%),
• Personal health/lifestyle management coaching (29%).
“Employers increasingly realize they must address the rising tide of employee stress, and not just to improve employees’ well-being,” said Hall. “Those who ignore stress will take a hit to their bottom line, in higher costs and lower productivity.”
About Buck Consultants
Buck Consultants, A Xerox Company, is a leader in human resource and benefits consulting with more than 1,500 professionals worldwide. Founded in 1916 to advise clients in establishing and funding some of the nation’s first public and private retirement programs, Buck is an innovator in the areas of retirement benefits, health and welfare programs, human capital management, compensation, and employee communication. News and other information about Buck Consultants are available at www.buckconsultants.com.
Xerox Corporation is a $22 billion leading global enterprise for business process and document management. Through its broad portfolio of technology, services and outsourcing offerings, Xerox provides the essential back-office support that clears the way for clients to focus on what they do best: their real business. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Xerox provides leading-edge document technology, services, software and supplies for production and office environments of any size. Through ACS, A Xerox Company, which Xerox acquired in February 2010, Xerox also offers extensive business process outsourcing and information technology outsourcing services, including data processing, HR benefits management, finance support, and customer relationship management services for commercial and government organizations worldwide. The 130,000 people of Xerox serve clients in more than 160 countries. For more information, visit http://www.acs-inc.com or http://www.xerox.com. For investor information, visit http://www.xerox.com/investor.
Xerox® and the sphere of connectivity design are trademarks of Xerox Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
The “Stress in the Workplace” survey report is available at no cost to the media by contacting Ed Gadowski at 201.902.2825. It is available at no cost to other interested parties from Buck’s Global Survey Resources, 500 Plaza Drive, Secaucus, NJ, 07096-1533. Telephone 1.800.887.0509. Buck surveys can be ordered online at www.bucksurveys.com.
Additional trends in stress and other workplace health issues and wellness programs are being explored in Buck Consultants’ fourth annual “Global Wellness Survey,” open for participation through July 15, 2010.
Buck Consultants, LLC