Work stress costs employers €3.2 billion per year: researchers
Employers are spending more and more money on absenteeism due to work stress. Burnout complaints and other stress-related absenteeism saddle employers with 3.2 billion euros in costs each year. That is 100 million euros more than a year earlier. TNO reported this at the start of the Week of Works Stress. The absenteeism costs related to work stress come from 2019, the most recent year for which this figure is known.
In the Netherlands, 1.2 million people currently suffer from burnout complaints like fatigue, headache, insomnia, a feeling of unease, or concentration problems. In one-third of all absenteeism, work pressure, or work stress is given as the reason for being absent. Last year, there were a total of 9.4 million sick days due to work stress. Converted, this means a cost of 9,300 euros per employee, according to the TNO researchers. The number of sick days due to stress fell last year compared to a year earlier when there were over 11 million.
According to Dorothe van den Aker, coordinator of the national Week of Work Stress, the figures remain alarming. "A fundamentally different approach is needed to turn the tide, " she said. According to her, one should look at how and where the work can be done to achieve a better balance. Hybrid working, which involves working from home part of the time, can be part of the solution to reduce pressure without sacrificing productivity.
Over a third of employees think that they have too much work on their plate. High job demands are one of the indicators for burnout complaints, according to the researchers. "Performing and the associated stress are not bad for people. In fact, delivering performance and being appreciated for it is satisfying," said Van den Akker. "It goes wrong when the pressure to perform is higher than you can handle."
The Week of Work Stress lasts from 15 to 19 November. Daily tips are given with different themes to reduce work stress and increase job satisfaction. This is done through masterclasses, webinars, and career checks. The week is also primarily digital this year.
Reporting by ANP