Feeling stressed at work? You're not alone

Feeling more stressed at work than ever before? You're not the only one.

More than half of Australian workers are likely to agree they're more stressed now than they were five years ago, according to a survey commissioned by global workplace provider Regus.

The survey showed that of the 727 Australians polled in the worldwide survey, 52 per cent agreed they feltĀ greater workplace stress than in 2010. Seventeen per cent nominated understaffing as the leading agitator (17 per cent), closely followed by technology issues (16 per cent) and unhealthy eating and exercise regimes (16 per cent).

We're not the only ones feeling the pinch. Regus' survey of 22,000 respondents in 100 countries found that 78 per cent of respondents in China report feeling more stress, and 64 per cent in South Africa.

Encouragingly, Australians' level of dissatisfaction with their boss, their commute and their working environment was amongst the lowest in the world, with only 7, 5 and 4 per cent respectively of workers surveyed admitting these factors were "very stressful" for them.

Yet 69 per cent of Australians also reveal they are "frequently" asked to work outside normal office hours, and 73 per cent say they regularly need to accommodate last-minute changes to meeting times or locations.

A change is a good as a holiday

It's all indicative of the growing pace of the business world and Paul Migliorini, the CEO of Regus in Australia and New Zealand, says it's vital to recognise work-related stress as a significant health and safety issue.

"We are continuing to see overwhelming evidence that stress levels are mounting not only in Australia but also across the globe. We live in a world where we are constantly on the move," he says.

Migliorini says 74 per cent of respondents globally found a change of scenery, such as working from another location at least some of the time, to be a good stress reliever.

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"Flexible working conditions do provide an outlet. The freedom to work away from the main office from time to time is now seen as a key factor in achieving an ideal work-life balance," he says.

Flexi-times

"It's important for businesses to understand that setting workplace standards that promote flexibility and allows for a happier work/life balance will ensure improved employee productivity, loyalty and retention - therefore creating happier, healthier workplaces - and better bottom lines."

Want to decrease your workday stress in one fell swoop? A move to the Netherlands will make a huge difference if the Regus survey is any indication.

The Dutch lead the world with only 32 per cent reporting greater stress in the past five years, and survey-leading levels of satisfaction with staffing levels, commuting, workplace environment, working hours, colleagues and bosses.