Regus-Commissioned Survey Reveals Stress Levels Rising Among US Workers

Nov 23, 2009, 12:27 ET from The Regus Group

DALLAS, November 23 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent global study of over 11,000 corporations across 15 countries commissioned by Regus (, the global provider of innovative workspace solutions, found that 58 percent of U.S. firms have experienced a significant rise in their workplace stress levels over the last two years. The study found that the U.S. results were consistent with global respondents also saying that on average, 58 percent of workers reported an increase in stress.

These findings indicate that American employees have been just as burdened with rising stress levels during the financial downturn as their global counterparts.

"While many countries have announced that technically the recession is over, a number of experts believe that recovery will likely not make significant progress for at least another 6-12 months," said Guillermo Rotman, chief executive officer of the Regus Group Americas. "For many company executives and employees, this means that stressful challenges still lie ahead before the momentum of recovery really takes hold."

"Stress in the workforce can provide companies with significant challenges: management and work productivity can be seriously impaired, motivation levels may be damaged, and conflict between colleagues can undermine professionalism," said Rotman. "With any of these factors in play, companies will likely see an impact to bottom-line commercial and financial results. At a time when firms are fighting to return to significant growth, we can see why managing stress becomes a crucial issue."

According to Rotman, one of the most significant factors in reducing employees' stress levels is helping them to maintain a healthy work-life balance. By implementing flexible workplace strategies, employers can offer employees the ability to work full or part-time from home, have access to business-ready, professional working environments in multiple locations, or have the ability to easily access private offices, meeting rooms and video communications technology as needed. Many companies have found themselves facing diminishing revenues and a smaller workforce, but with no ability to flex their office cost commitments. Flexible workplace strategies not only eliminate the need for costly, long-term commercial lease agreements, but also allow firms to grow with considerably less stress for employee and employer alike.

U.S. Survey Results

Regus' survey confirmed that American workers are particularly stressed by increased focus on profitability, as 39 percent stated that this pressure has been the most responsible for aggravating their workplace stress levels. The risk of unemployment was the second-most significant stress-inducer, with 38 percent identifying it as a primary contributor.

The study also showed that company size has influenced the level of stress increase in recent years, as more than 70 percent of employees in larger firms (more than 1,000 employees) have experienced a greater increase in workplace stress as compared with over 50 percent in small businesses. The figures may be due to the potential for downsizing that is, by definition, greater in larger firms. The threat of redundancy will inevitably lead to more stress, and those who remain often find themselves with double the responsibilities but no additional reward.

Sector variations were also apparent throughout Regus' survey, with workers in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry reporting the greatest increase in stress (65%), and retail showing least growth in stress (52%).

    Global Viewpoint

    Causes of increased stress levels over the last two years

                               UK   France Germany  USA  Belgium Netherlands
    Increased focus
    on profitability          39.0% 39.7%   34.8%  39.1%  37.3%     38.9%
    Increased focus
    on quarterly
    sales revenues            19.1% 35.2%   29.9%  20.0%  37.3%     13.3%
    Not enough
    administrative support    25.4% 17.1%   26.4%  24.4%  22.5%     19.9%
    Aggressive competition
    from colleagues            7.8%  8.6%   12.9%  10.1%  3.5%      12.3%
    Risk of unemployment
    /business failure         43.7% 21.2%   16.4%  38.1%  12.0%     21.6%
    Pressure from customers
    for increased service     32.4% 29.4%   33.3%  25.8%  29.6%     28.1%
    Loss of good staff        16.8%  6.4%   14.9%  12.4%  4.2%      12.3%

                            Australia  China Mexico Spain Canada South  India
    Increased focus
    on profitability           39.5%   42.0%  31.0% 40.5%  33.1% 41.5%  44.9%
    Increased focus
    on quarterly
    sales revenues             19.6%   26.3%  31.7% 25.1%  23.4% 15.2%  29.6%
    Not enough
    administrative support     27.0%   16.3%   8.5% 10.6%  24.0% 30.5%  17.0%
    Aggressive competition
    from colleagues             9.7%   14.1%  11.4% 13.2%   7.8% 11.0%  11.9%
    Risk of unemployment
    /business failure          36.4%   17.6%  18.8% 20.7%  25.3% 26.8%  22.1%
    Pressure from
    customers for
    increased service          32.7%   32.9%  34.4% 26.4%  27.3% 25.6%  33.0%
    Loss of good staff         17.3%   18.8%  10.3% 14.1%  11.7% 11.6%  15.6%


The Regus BusinessTracker surveyed over 11,000 business respondents from 13 countries from the Regus global contacts database during August and September 2009. The Regus global contacts database of over 1 million business people worldwide is highly representative of senior managers and owners in service businesses across the globe. In this research project, respondents were asked how their levels of stress at work had changed (or not changed) over the period of two years, and asked to identify the major causes of stress in their workplaces. The survey was managed and administered by the independent organization, MarketingUK.

About The Regus Group

The Regus Group is the world's leading provider of pioneering workplace solutions, with products and services ranging from fully equipped offices to professional meeting rooms, business lounges and the largest network of videoconferencing studios. For more information, please visit

Journalists can also visit the Regus Press Center at

    U.S. Survey Results At-A-Glance

    - 58 percent of employees reported levels of stress that have grown
      "higher" or "much higher".
    - 39 percent of workers are stressed by increased focus on profitability.
    - 38 percent of employees indentified the risk of unemployment as a
      reason for increased stress.
    - 71 percent of workers in larger companies (more than 1,000 employees)
      reported higher levels of stress.
    - 54 percent of employees in small and medium enterprises reported a
      higher level of stress.
    - Healthcare and pharmaceutical workers reported a 65 percent increase in
      stress level.
    - Retail workers showed the least growth in stress at 52 percent.

    Tod Meisner

SOURCE The Regus Group