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Stress test: Swiss workers under increasing pressure

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© Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Nearly one in three people in Switzerland suffers from a high level of stress, according to the “Job Stress Index” published by Health Promotion Switzerland on Thursday.

The foundation said 29.6% of those surveyed estimated their workplace stress level as “critical”, meaning they are unable to manage their workload with available resources.

The authors of the study said the conditions for stress include a feeling of time pressure, dealing with excessive demands, receiving unclear tasks, and coping with organizational problems within the workplace.

The study External linkwent on to state that more than half of the people surveyed felt emotionally exhausted by their job, which could lead to burnout. The authors estimated the impact on the Swiss economy at CHF7.6 billion ($8.34 billion) annually.

Workers suffering from a critical stress level has risen from one in every four in 2014 to one in every three people in the past six years.

A summary of the report states that with increasing digitization demands on employees have increased, requiring them to take on more knowledge and to learn new skills.

While this in itself doesn’t lead to stress, the authors write, employees must be granted the resources to manage the new challenges. These include support from superiors and sufficient room for manoeuvre.

Young workers between the ages of 16 and 24 reported the most stress, in part because this demographic on average has fewer resources at their disposal.

The 2020 survey was carried out between the beginning of February and beginning of March, before Switzerland introduced Covid-19 restrictions which included recommendations on working from home.

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