More Singapore workers hit by stress-related illnesses since downturn: Survey

PHOTO: More Singapore workers hit by stress-related illnesses since downturn: Survey

SINGAPORE - Economic volatility has increased pressure on Singaporean workers with 67 per cent reporting that they are seeing more stress-related illness since the downturn.

This was a finding from the latest survey from Regus, a global workplace provider.

More than one-third said that they are worried about losing their job and feel less confident about the sector they are working in.

The study found that 34 per cent of Singaporean workers are losing sleep worrying about work, and 40 per cent of respondents reported that their family and friends have noticed they are stressed by work.

Forty-five per cent said that stress is damaging their co-worker's personal relationships.

The survey, canvassing the opinions of more than 20,000 senior executives and business owners across 95 countries, also found that in Singapore, stress is causing a worrying increase in absenteeism - with 54 per cent saying that stress-related reasons have caused them to be absent from work.

This could not only damage worker well-being, but also have repercussions on business productivity, the study's authors said.

In the survey, employees also identified flexible working conditions as an option for easing work-related stress, with 77 per cent agreeing with the statement.

Commenting on the study, John Henderson, Regional Director and CFO at Regus APAC, said: "Difficult economic times in the West and an unprecedented rate of growth in emerging economies have put a strain on businesses and their employees. Workers are expected to do more with less, and this has taken its toll to the point many are close to burn-out.

"It's not surprising that work-related worries and the sleepless nights they cause, are taking their toll on employees' personal lives. More importantly still, their health is at stake as stress is a known catalyst for a number of serious illnesses. Proactive businesses that address stress in their workforce are likely to end up with a healthier workforce and reduced absenteeism."

yamadak@sph.com.sg