Survey: 62% of Workers Say Employers Aren’t Combating Stress

Over a third of respondents said that stress symptoms affected them "very often," citing high workloads and low pay.

Stress: It's a killer. Workplace-related stress has proven to be a problem for the majority of workers in 2023, a new survey has found.

In addition, 62% of workers pointed the finger at their employers, saying that they were not doing enough to reduce this stress. That's a big chunk of unhappy workers, which can have a big impact on an organization's bottom line.

Here's what to know about employee stress in today's workplaces, and how managers can best help out.

Working in 2023: Higher Workloads, Fewer Raises, and Less Stability

Workers cited a variety of reasons behind their increasing stress levels: A lack of pay increases, a jump in work responsibilities, pressure from their managers, and concerns over the stability of their jobs.

Recruitment agency Robert Walters Group is behind the new survey, which HR Dive recently covered. More than 2,500 respondents weighed in, with over a third of these respondents saying that stress symptoms affected them “very often.”

Peter Milne, managing director of Robert Walters North America, stated his views on who might be able to response to this concern.

“Workplace stress is something everyone in a business has a hand in creating — however it is down to senior leaders, HR and line management, depending on organization size and reporting lines, to set the tone for how it is handled.” -Milne

Those surveyed seem to agree: 45% of employees said those responsible for easing workplace stress levels were “senior leaders and HR,” while 19% said line managers held responsibility.

Have Tech Layoffs Boosted Stress Levels?

It makes sense that employees are stressed over a lack of stability. At least, it makes sense that those in the tech industry are: They've been subjected to waves of layoffs in the last year.

Since late 2022, tech giants like Meta, Microsoft, Twitter, Amazon, Salesforce, and many more have slashed their workforces. Some companies even cut loose up 10,000 or more employees at a time.

In total, the numbers have reached 93,000 US tech layoffs across all of 2022, and kept rising in 2023 to reach more than 153,000 employees and counting, according to Crunchbase.

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Some cmpanies have cited an “uncertain economy” for the reason behind the layoffs, while others have held that they plan to suppliment lost labor with cheaper AI tools. Whatever the case, the result is a weaker labor market, as employers feel unable to move to new positions in other downsizing companies.

But all those job cuts lead to increased stress for all employees, and surveys such as this one from Robert Walters Group are one of the biggest indicators that cracks are beginning to show in the labor force that powers every successful commerce operation.

Here's hoping senior management can figure out how to ease their workers' minds and increase their pay before they reduce their revenues along with their headcount.

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Written by:
Adam is a writer at and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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