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How Does the Economy Affect Work Stress?

Getting hurt at work doesn’t necessarily mean sustaining a musculoskeletal injury. Many workplace injuries are invisible to the naked eye, but still result in serious health consequences. These include health problems caused by chronic stress of the workplace. For example, a workers’ compensation attorney in San Jose might handle a case in which chronic high blood pressure caused by unreasonable workplace demands eventually led to a stroke or heart attack. During times of economic uncertainty, job stress inevitably rises.

Economic Uncertainties Can Trigger Significant Stress

When the economy enters a recession, employees in all different industries feel the effects-from blue-collar workers to corporate executives. Economic downturns can lead to job insecurity; an employee who feels that he or she could get fired at any time is under tremendous stress to rapidly produce error-free work while at the same time worrying about how he or she will pay the bills if a new job isn’t found right away. As companies are forced to execute layoffs, the remaining employees must take up the slack. Some of the may be forced to work longer hours, take pay cuts, or be shifted from full-time to part-time and lose their health benefits.

Significant Stress Can Result in Severe Health Problems

Severe stress in times of economic uncertainties can readily lead to workplace injuries. Some injuries, such as physical trauma like fractures, may occur because an employee is too distracted to follow safety protocols. Others may occur as stress hormones elevate, causing insomnia, weight gain or loss, high blood pressure, headaches, and mood swings. In severe cases, stress may even result in a stroke or heart attack. These medical problems come at a time when workers are least able to afford to treat them.

Stress Can Affect an Employee’s Work Performance

It isn’t just employees who suffer the effects of increased stress caused by economic downturns. From small, family-owned businesses to major corporations, revenue can become stagnant and costs may increase if workers are too stressed to perform their jobs well.

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