As a manager you should know that much of the sick time that occurs in your company is directly or indirectly related to stress. Research indicates that stress accounts for as much as 75% of all time lost from work owing to illness and accidents. Have a look at the following list and check off the ailments you’ve heard employees complain of. These are all indicators of stress that can contribute to lost productivity and negatively impact your bottom line:

How many of these stress effects do you see in your workplace?

  • Nervousness
  • Worrying
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Forgetfulness
  • Mood swings
  • Crying easily
  • Easily angered
  • Poor concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Constant feeling of time pressure
  • Tension headaches
  • Tight shoulder and neck muscles
  • Teeth grinding
  • High blood pressure
  • Erratic or racing heartbeat
  • Migraine headaches
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Frequent minor illnesses

Productivity and effectiveness decrease as stress levels increase. Your employees can learn to stay within the Productivity Zone.

The Relationship between stress and productivity

What are the major consequences of stress in the workplace?

  • Absenteeism
  • Turnover
  • Diminished performance & productivity
  • Substance Abuse
  • Increased health compensation claims
    (Various sources)


The annual cost in Canada of work time lost to stress is calculated at $12-billion.
(Statistics Canada, 1999)

Disability claims have been significantly on the rise over the past few years, due mainly to Long Term Disability claims. The area with the biggest increase is “mental-nervous conditions”. Since 1990, depression has been the fourth-leading cause of work days lost through disability and premature death in Canada.
(Making the Disability Connection, Canadian Healthcare Manager, April/May, 1999)

In terms of lost hours due to absenteeism, reduced productivity, and workers’ compensation benefits, stress costs American industry about $7,500 (US) per worker per year.
(The Stress Solution, Miller & Smith, American Psychological Association, 1997)

On average, corporations lose about 16 days annually in productivity per worker due to stress, anxiety and depression.
(American Psychological Association, 1996)

More than half of the organizations (75% of these had 500 or more employees) in a recent Conference Board of Canada survey reported that they had set up wellness programs for their staff.
(Workplace Solutions for Stressed-Out Workers, Conference Board of Canada, June 1999)


The American Psychological Association provides high quality information on stress, stress management, and a wide range of other health related issues.

Kate Partridge, Ph.D.

Kate Partridge, Psychologist

Dr. Kate Partridge, Psychologist

Mindfulness Mediation practice has transformed my life in a gradual, gentle but very positive way. It has made me passionate about wanting to share the practice with others.

In my private practice I focus on working with individual adults who are seeking help with stress-related physical and emotional problems, anxiety, panic, depression and chronic pain.

In addition, for the past 30 years, I have presented seminars and workshops to organizations of all kinds, from large corporations to small non-profit groups. The focus here has been to provide education and training in “surfing the stress wave” – that is, balancing the intense energy stirred up by challenging situations with better access to the calm, grounded energy that promotes physical wellness, mental clarity and emotional peace.

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