Thursday, November 26, 2015

Top stressors at work: Low pay, commutes and heavy workloads


A decade ago, when workers were asked what mattered to them on the job, they cited relationships with colleagues, feeling respected, being able to contribute and grow – the touchy-feely part of working.

No longer.

The 2014 Work Stress Survey by Harris, a Nielsen company, found that "low pay" and commuting issues are workers' biggest concerns. Those stresses slightly edged out "unreasonable workload" as the top causes of employee worries. A similar survey last year by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health found "inadequate staffing" was the top stress agent.

In short, workers are feeling short-changed on pay and overloaded in do-more-with-less workplaces with fewer colleagues to share the load.

More coverage
  • The secret weapon behind work life balance
  • Workforce, a publication for the human resource industry, uses "the work-more economy" to describe the bigger burden on employees. Pay experts acknowledge that pay levels have stagnated, even as corporate profits have risen along with executive pay.

    We all fret as consumers when we don't get good customer service, or wait too long for help, or wade through computer programs and phone trees instead of getting personal attention. On the receiving end of disappointing service, it's hard to be understanding about the waits and flaws.

    On the flip side, when we're employed in a "work-more economy" job, it's hard to continue to give a 100 percent effort with a good attitude.

    These are today's workplace infirmities, and the cures aren't easy. But to try: Employers who complain that it's hard to get and keep good people need to honestly assess their pay, benefits and staffing to remedy merited causes of worker complaints.

    And employees need to honestly self evaluate: Are you where you need to be and doing your best given the circumstances? Change is increasingly possible.



    To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to Follow her online at and


    (c)2014 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

    Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at

    Distributed by MCT Information Services

    The Kansas City Star (MCT)
    We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
    Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

    Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

    Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

    Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

    Read 0 comments
    comments powered by Disqus