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Changes at work leave workers stressed out, survey finds

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Photo: American Psychological Association

Washington – Organizational changes in the workplace lead workers to experience chronic stress and the desire to change jobs, as well as a decrease in trust of their employer, according to the results of a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association.

The Work and Well-Being Survey, administered online from Feb. 16 to March 8, included responses from 1,512 adults who were working full- or part-time. Half of the respondents said their workplaces either had recently, currently or were expected to go through organizational changes.

Of the workers who said they recently or currently were going through changes:

  • 55 percent experienced chronic work stress.
  • 39 percent had work-life imbalance.
  • 35 percent felt negatively toward co-workers.
  • 29 percent reported eating and smoking more during the workday.

In addition, 34 percent of respondents who had or were experiencing changes in the workplace said they distrusted their employer and 46 percent said they were looking to leave the organization.

However, 82 percent of respondents said they believe their employers provide a safe working environment, and 77 percent said their employers value workers’ health and safety.

“Change is inevitable in organizations, and when it happens, leadership often underestimates the impact those changes have on employees,” David Ballard, head of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence, said in a press release. “If they damage their relationship with employees, ratchet up stress levels and create a climate of negativity and cynicism in the process, managers can wind up undermining the very change efforts they’re trying to promote.”

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