Unfortunately, a BBC story confirms that it’s probably not a drastic exaggeration.
Stress is an inherent part of work, but many companies are putting the screws to workers as never before. Layoffs, long (or unpredictable) hours, unsafe working conditions, poor benefits and spiteful (or incompetent) bosses are just a few hazards that can undercut employee performance.
The BBC article quotes a figure from the American Institute of Stress, which asserts that “workplace stress costs the American economy some $300 billion each year.” Aside from the productivity, turnover and morale side of things, the health costs of stress are staggering:
There were 120,000 extra deaths annually in the U.S. from harmful management practices, and that extra health-care costs were $190 billion each year. That would make the workplace the fifth leading cause of death, worse than kidney disease or Alzheimer’s.
Measuring workplace health and well-being, not just profits