BOSTON, May 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's top workforce health risk is stress, surpassing even obesity and inactivity. While emphasis is often placed on pressures within the workplace, there are many stress triggers, lifestyle habits, and thinking styles that can aggravate stress and negatively impact work and life. To shed light on these intricacies, today meQuilibrium announced key insights from the company's extensive customer database. The data suggests a surprising trend—despite the many joys of summer, employees seem to be more vulnerable to life's challenges during this time of year.
Measuring the Summertime Slump
Each meQuilibrium member initially takes a personal stress assessment to identify each individual's sources of stress, how they experience stress, and their baseline ability to cope with adversity, which collectively determines their resilience score. In order to measure this, meQuilibrium experts identified key factors that contribute to a person's overall resilience and state of being, nine of which are outlined in the chart.
The internal data team aggregated the results of all initial assessments collected in April through September of 2014 and 2015, which included more than 30,000 members. The data highlights the deviation from the norm (which is zero percent) in members' ability to manage stress across the different factors. While the data does not depict changes over time, the findings reveal a parallel downward shift in members' emotional state of mind from the spring to summer months across the two-year timeframe. The following chart outlines the weighted average deviation from the norm.
Sunburned or Burned Out: Our Insights
"Work tends to be the scapegoat for our sources of stress, however there are many other personal factors at play. These data insights regarding employees' state of mind in the summer supports this point of view," said Jan Bruce, co-founder and CEO of meQuilibrium. "We believe it's notable that over two years, thousands of employees indicated they were more vulnerable to many of life's challenges during the summer—a time that we all generally consider to be a little easier and more carefree."
The potential trend of heightened stress during the summer months indicates that even if employees are in the office less or presumably less anxious about work, factors outside the workplace may be contributing to increased distress. The summertime brings on busy weekends, extended time with family and friends, vacations and time at the beach. Insights surrounding an increase in vulnerabilities as it relates to sleep, body image and weight control, and eating habits are less surprising, considering most adults might feel stretched thin in their personal life. What is surprising is employees' increased stress around home life and social support, and their overall lower positive outlook also shows a considerable decline in the summer. It's interesting to see how this level of stress overflows into the workplace, with focus and time management seeing a significant downward trend in the summer months. Although employees may be out on vacation, thinking about what they are missing at work and the dread of coming back to full inboxes and piled up projects can oftentimes bring on increased stress.
"At meQuilibrium, we believe that in order to discover how to better manage stress, we need to look at the whole person," continued Bruce. "If we can change the way people approach stress and handle challenges at work and at home, we will develop a more resilient workforce and perhaps avoid these periodic and seasonal dips in emotional state of mind."
As employers aim to continue decreasing stress among their employee populations, emotional wellbeing programs that address the root cause of stress and empower employees to build resilience should be considered. To learn more about meQuilibrium's digital resilience-building solution, please visit www.mequilibrium.com.
meQuilibrium is a digital coaching solution that helps members build resilience, beat stress and adopt healthy behaviors for life. The clinically validated, HIPAA-compliant platform delivers an individualized experience to improve outcomes for employers, health plans, wellness providers and consumers. meQuilibrium services two key markets: large enterprises, eager to stem the estimated $300 billion they lose each year in employee absenteeism and lost productivity due to stress, and payors and health plans seeking to drive differentiation and innovation in an era of consumer-driven healthcare. To learn more about meQuilibrium, visit www.mequilibrium.com.
Disclaimer: This data analysis has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial, or business advice. This information should be viewed critically, and should not be assumed to be representative of the entire population, or of the experience of those who do not participate in our services. We report these data as we have found them in our system under the parameters that we describe. The data insights provided are statements of opinion and not statements of fact or recommendations and do not constitute consumer or business advice. We make no representation and do not assert that the data are statistically relevant for any given employee population or that they are indicative of anything other than the direct experience that we have observed in the stated time period. Individuals are solely responsible for determining whether the information is suitable for their purposes, and reliance on the information is at the individual's' discretion.
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