A new study says stress levels at work are so bad, that employees regularly feel as though it is a matter of life or death.
The research, which took place in Denmark, suggests that staff regularly experience sweaty palms, palpitations and a racing heartbeat – all natural reactions humans tend to feel when they are in physical danger.
Scientists say the findings say a lot about the pressure being put on workers on a day-to-day basis.
Lead author Malene Friis Andersen said: “Some reach what may seem like an obvious conclusion – that, in our modern world, the sabre-toothed tiger is our boss or the deadlines that we have to meet.”
She added that people are now inextricably linking their identity to their job that the stress and level of expectation they put on themselves to perform and meet the demands of their boss has never been greater.
One of the issues discussed in the report is perfectionism. It concluded that this is not in fact a state of mind, but more of a behaviour that has developed as a result of the demands made by employers. This, in turn, can add to the stress of workers who feel as though the level of working being asked of them is impossible to replicate.
Included in the report are 15 interviews the researchers completed with workers who have been kept away from their job after suffering from long-term stress. They generally all gave the impression that once the symptoms of stress first start to show themselves, then it is extremely difficult to escape from what ultimately is a destructive cycle.
These days, businesses are keen to reduce stress levels early on and encourage employees to do their jobs in a stress-free environment. Mobile working and working from home can offer a partial answer here, while also saving firms money by saving on desk space in the office.