Photo - John Henderson, Regional Director, APAC, Regus
According to global workplace provider Regus's latest online survey, 70 percent of Malaysian workers are reporting more stress-related illnesses due to global economic fragilities.
Regus APAC regional director John Henderson said businesses can help to remedy this by adopting the call by 77 percent of workers for flexible working and mobile technology. "Mobile workers are less stressed and flexible working is key to a happier workplace."
Citing online WebMD, Henderson said stress-related illness can worsen or cause a whole series of health conditions ranging from obesity to heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems and asthma.
Last year's Regus research said 48 percent of respondents globally felt their stress levels had risen in the past year, while this latest study found that more than two fifths (42 percent) of Malaysian workers are actually losing sleep worrying about work, he said.
More than 20,000 senior executives and business owners in 95 countries contributed to the current survey, said Henderson, adding that in Malaysia stress is driving "a worrying increase in absenteeism (67 percent) damaging business productivity as well as worker well-being."
Other outcomes include:
- 33 percent of respondents are worried about losing their job;
- 32 percent feel less confident about the sector they work in;
- 53 percent of respondents report that their family and friends have noticed they are stressed by work; and
- 47 percent say that stress is damaging their co-worker's personal relationships
"Difficult economic times in the West and an unprecedented rate of growth in emerging economies have put a strain on businesses and their employees," said Henderson.
"Workers are expected to do more with less, and this has taken its toll to the point many are close to burn-out," he said.
"It's not surprising that work-related worries and the sleepless nights they cause are taking their toll on employees' personal lives," Henderson said.
"More importantly still, their health is at stake as stress is a known catalyst for a number of serious illnesses," he said. "Proactive businesses that address stress in their workforce are likely to end up with a healthier workforce and reduced absenteeism."
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