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Many People Lie about Stress-Related Sick Leave

work stress

Studies show that at least 20% of employees have taken a sick day for stress but didn’t want to admit it. Unfortunately, stress still seems to be a taboo reason for needing a day off to recuperate. A recent study by a mental health charity organization known as “Mind” found that common excuses given are having a sick family member, having a stomach ache, or having a cold.

Even though many employees lie about the fact that work-related stress is the real reason for taking a day off, most would prefer their employer know about their stress. In fact, 70% would prefer to talk with their boss about it. One in three, however, would prefer their employer realize they are stressed and approach them first.

Unfortunately, businesses are losing billions of dollars each year as a result of workplace absenteeism due to workplace stress. The chief executive of Mind, Paul Farmer, indicated that businesses should be very concerned that so many employees feel forced to lie about the significant amount of stress they are experiencing at work. Especially since the consequences include a decrease in productivity and morale, and an increase in absenteeism.

He suggested employers work to foster an atmosphere conducive to openness and problem solving.
The bottom line is that chronic stress can lead to both physical and emotional health problems. If it continues to be a taboo work place issue, the consequences can be serious, and the problem will only get worse.

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