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Top employee stressors identified in study

Study after study—and survey after survey—tell the same story: Modern workers feel stressed out on the job, and the stress is taking a toll on their sleep, health, relationships, productivity and sense of well-being. Add to that the stress brought on by the coronavirus—because of furloughs, job losses, worries about getting sick, feeling isolated while working remotely.

And new research suggests that people aged 30 to 59 are experiencing the greatest levels of anxiety over fears that they may catch the coronavirus.

Experts offered other ways managers can help employees handle stress:

Encourage your team to take advantage of stress-management webinars, wellness tips or programs, and yoga or meditation classes. Set an example by using these resources yourself.

Make sure workers are taking regular breaks, and be sure to take them yourself. Encourage employees to exercise daily, take time for friends or a significant other after work, pursue hobbies, listen to music, and take time off.

As companies are increasingly concerned with how employee well-being affects their bottom lines, a Humana Inc. study has identified top employee stressors it says takes a toll on workers’ health.

In the report, five trends are identified that the study says are “making a significant impact in the world of wellness.” Although none are new, they are the target of increasing attention, as their prominence in impacting employee health grows. Pointing out in the report that health care costs currently account for an average of 7.6 percent of an organization’s budget, Humana writes that “addressing these trends in the workplace can make a significant difference overall.”

An aging population, with attendant problems such as employees serving as caregivers to older relatives, is one trend affecting well-being. Rising healthcare costs can siphon away employees’ own funds as they struggle to help loved ones, and so can the physical and emotional stress of caregiving.

In fact, the report finds that, with approximately 20 percent of the U.S. workforce acting as caregivers, the cost to companies’ bottom lines is approximately $33 billion, with an additional $13 billion in related healthcare costs.

But there’s also the flip side, as employees themselves age and retire later. These employees say the report, may incur more health care costs due to having a higher likelihood of chronic conditions. Also, those who planned to retire later were more likely to report stress, poor health, and feeling stuck in their jobs than people expecting to retire sooner.

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