It’s Not You, Boss!

While employees are glad they haven’t lost their jobs (yet), that doesn’t prevent them from feeling stress about their work. As you can see from the chart, which summarizes a new Gallup/UBS survey on the subject, the majority of workers feel a significant amount of job-induced stress. (Polling was conducted among employees of for-profit, private-sector companies.) There was little difference in the responses of male and female workers. People with male bosses were a shade less likely than those with female bosses to say they feel a great deal of workplace stress (27 percent vs. 31 percent) and a bit more likely to say they feel none at all (12 percent vs. 10 percent). What’s the main source of stress on the job? Just 10 percent said the boss is the principal culprit. Indeed, a much larger number of respondents (20 percent) put the blame on “people you work with,” with women more likely than men to say this (23 percent vs. 19 percent). So much for the notion of the workplace as family—or, at least, as happy family. For an outright majority of those polled (54 percent), stress at work stems mostly from “the demands of the job.” Surprisingly few (8 percent) attributed their job-related stress mainly to the fear of being laid off, which suggests it’s unlikely to abate much when the economy picks up.