Work-Related Stress

Broughton A | Report  | European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Dublin | Oct 2010

This report examines the issue of work-related stress in the 27 EU Member States and Norway. Studies capturing data on work-related stress in individual countries differ in terms of their scope, methodology and coverage.

The main risk factors for work-related stress include heavy workload, long working hours, lack of control and autonomy at work, poor relationships with colleagues, poor support at work and the impact of organisational change. These factors can be difficult to address, especially if they have resource implications.

The main outcomes (individual, organisational and societal) of work-related stress include physical and mental health problems, absence from work, reduced quality of outputs, increased welfare and medical spending, and reduced productivity.

Company-level examples of best practice in stress management highlight the need for good quality data on work-related stress, a robust stress policy, the involvement of all relevant actors, good communications, and the importance of buy-in from senior management.