Is America Suffering from 'Desk Rage?'
New Study: Fights and Yelling More Common as Booming Economy Puts Stress on American Workers -- 23% of American Workers have Been Driven to Tears as a Result of Workplace Stress, with 10% Working in an Atmosphere where Physical
Violence has Occurred Overall, 29% of Workers Have Yelled at Co-workers Themselves and Stress Drives 26% to Consume Chocolate
Story Filed: Wednesday, November 29, 2000 4:00 AM EST
NEW YORK, Nov 29, 2000 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Workplace stress and long hours are creating a growing phenomenon of 'desk rage' in America, with increased numbers of employees having arguments and breaking down under
pressure, according to a study of American workers released by Integra Realty Resources, Inc., a real estate advisory and appraisal firm with offices in 43 U.S. cities.
Increased stress is driving workers to tears, insomnia and illness, with unrealistic goals and rudeness from clients and colleagues a major contributor. As a result, workers are turning on each other.
One of 10 Americans (10%) say they work in an atmosphere where physical violence has occurred because of stress, with 42% saying their workplace is a place where yelling and verbal abuse takes place. While only two percent of
Americans say workplace stress has caused them personally to strike a co-worker, 29% admit to yelling at co-workers because of stress.
Job stress is "major" problem for 1 in 10 According to the study, 23% of American workers have been driven to tears
because of workplace stress. And 14% work where machinery or equipment has been damaged through workplace rage.
"Productivity in America is soaring -- but at the price of a growing 'desk rage,'" says Sean Hutchinson, president of Integra Realty Resources in New York. "As employee shortages continue to boost individual workloads in many
sectors, employers need to take steps to alleviate America's growing workplace stress."
Indeed, one out of every 10 workers (11%) say workplace stress is a major problem for them -- making them prime candidates for outbursts of desk rage. And two-thirds of American workers (65%) say workplace stress is a problem
for them at least occasionally.
One of eight workers (12%) has called in sick because of workplace stress, and one of five American workers (19%) has quit a job in the past because of stress.
The random telephone survey of 1305 working adults in the U.S. has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%, and was conducted with the assistance of Opinion Research Corp. International of Princeton, N.J.
Causes of stress: Overcrowding, unrealistic deadlines -- and the 'Dilbertization' of America
Real estate issues may play a key role in America's stressful workplace, according to the study. "One of 8 American workers say that overcrowded physical conditions have contributed to their workplace stress," notes
Integra's Hutchinson. Indeed, 12% of all Americans say they now work in a cubicle "like the cartoon character Dilbert" with that figure rising to 16% for white collar workers. Among other real estate-related issues, 12% say
they have concerns about the safety of their workplace -- and 26% say it's time for their employer to redecorate.
Other causes of stress? One-third of American workers say unreasonable deadlines added to their stress (30%), with 33% blaming an excessive personal workload. Indeed, 52% of those surveyed say they've had to work more than 12
hours in a day to get their job done, and 50% of American workers say they commonly skip lunch to complete their workload.
The rudeness of co-workers or clients is cited by 34% as a major source of stress. Seven percent say too much caffeine has contributed to their stress, while 7% say excessive e-mail is a factor.
According to the survey, workplace stress has caused 34% of Americans to be unable to sleep; has driven 11% of Americans to consume excessive alcohol; has caused 16% to smoke in excess and has driven 26% to eat chocolate.
At the end of the day, large numbers of American workers say they are a physical wreck, with 62% complaining of workplace-related back or neck pain; 44% complaining of stressed out eyes; and 38% complaining of hurting hands.
And one of 12 Americans (8%) say the chair they sit in at work "hurts my butt." Suggestions? Twenty-eight percent say that being allowed to telecommute might ease their stress.
SOURCE: Integra Realty Resources, Inc.
CONTACT: Sean Hutchinson of Integra Realty Resources, Inc.,
212-899-5177; or Jeff Barge of Lucky Star Public Relations, 212-576-8883, for Integra Realty Resources