New Delhi: Stress is the number one lifestyle risk factor among Indian workers, ranking above physical inactivity and obesity, according to a survey conducted by professional services company Towers Watson.
Major causes of stress, according to the surveyed employees in India, include unclear or conflicting job expectations (40 percent), inadequate staffing and lack of support, uneven workload or performance in group (38 percent) and lack of work/life balance (38 percent).
In Asia Pacific, the top contributors were inadequate staffing, low pay (or low increase in pay) and lack of work/life balance.
Globally, inadequate staffing is common as the single most important contributor to work-related stress, according to Towers Watson’s Global Benefit Attitudes Survey that polled 22,347 global workers out of which 7,094 workers are in Asia Pacific (2006 workers from India).
The survey highlights that the main sources of stress for employees across the globe are tied to their experience at the workplace.
While Indian employers lead their regional counterparts in developing strategies to manage work-related stress, only 38 percent identified improving the emotional and mental health of employees (i.e. lessening the stress and anxiety) as a top priority of their health and productivity programmes.
“This signals a vast scope for improvement in strategic initiatives aimed at tackling stress among Indian employees,” Towers Watson said in the survey report.
Globally, the causes of poor health are remarkably similar; however, the tools, abilities and resources needed to address these vary greatly across regions.
“Nonetheless, multiple issues related to stress are driving the need for a greater organisational commitment that extends beyond employees’ physical and mental health; one that encompasses the work environment, culture and interpersonal relationships that connect employees to the mission and goals of the organization,” it said.