Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

A third of Swiss feel stressed at work

About one third of Switzerland’s working population feel themselves “frequently” or “very frequently” under stress says a report issued on Tuesday.

The report by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) says the causes are mainly time pressure, unclear instructions, social discrimination – such as harassment – and working in what is supposed to be free time.

Additional factors are long work hours and the obligation to comply with ideas that they don’t support.

“On the other hand, a good management style by the immediate boss has a positive impact on workers’ job satisfaction and stress level,” the report says.

Seco has the job of monitoring the implementation of the labour law, which includes protecting the mental health of workers. It carried out its first survey on the issue in 2000.

The new study shows a rise of seven per cent in those complaining of stress, while those who said they “never” or only “occasionally” suffered stress fell from 17.4 per cent to 12.2. 

Feelings of stress did not depend on the branch of the economy, professional group, socio-economic status or gender. However, people from French-speaking Switzerland reported slightly more stress than those elsewhere, while younger workers – aged 15 to 34 – suffered above average stress, and older ones – aged 55 and 64 – were more likely to say they never felt stressed.

Just under a third of those asked said they had taken some kind medication or other substances either to be able to continue working despite pain, or to be able to sleep or switch off from work. 

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR