Swiss workers top the stress league in Europe

Men claim to be more stressed at work than women Keystone

The Swiss and the Swedes are the most stressed out workers in Europe, according to a survey published on Tuesday.

This content was published on November 15, 2005 - 12:02

More than one third of Swiss workers said they were either stressed or very stressed, with young people among the most affected.

Switzerland and Sweden recorded the highest incidence of workplace stress at 33 per cent of people surveyed, according to the World at Work Survey, published by global recruitment agency Kelly Services.

This placed them ahead of Norway (31 per cent) and neighbouring France and Germany (28 per cent).

The lowest level of stress was found in the Netherlands (16 per cent). The European average was 27 per cent.

The survey sought the views of almost 19,000 workers in 12 countries across Europe. In Switzerland, 1,372 people took part in the study.

Male workers claimed to be more stressed (35 per cent) than women workers (32 per cent).

Young and stressed

The survey found that young people aged 25-34 tended to be the most affected in Switzerland, with 36 per cent saying they were stressed. This went against the trend in the rest of Europe where older workers said they felt the most overloaded.

In terms of sectors, the IT branch contained the highest incidence of stress at 46 per cent. The administration and human resources branches recorded the lowest levels.

According to the survey, there is a strong link between workplace stress and job satisfaction. Just over 40 per cent of those who said they were stressed were also happy in their jobs.

Among those unhappy at work, the majority said this was because they did not feel they were challenged enough, while only 32 per cent said they faced too much stress.

The survey found no link between stress and job insecurity. In fact – despite recent upheavals in the economy - the majority of workers were sure that their posts were not in danger.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

The countries with the most stressed workers: Switzerland and Sweden (33%), Norway (31%), France and Germany (28%).
Followed by: Italy (26%), Russia (24%), Belgium (23%), Denmark (22%).
Low-stress countries: the Netherlands (16%), Spain (19%), Britain (20%).
European average: 27%.

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In brief

The survey was carried out at the beginning of 2005 in 12 countries.

19,000 people participated. In Switzerland, 1,372 took part.

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