Stress costs Australia dear

Aug 19 2008 by Derek Torres Print This Article

It's becoming painfully obvious that CEOs and CFOs around the world are not reading our blog as often, or carefully, as they should. If they did, they'd notice that I've noted on several occasions the true cost of workplace stress on several industrialized nations.

The latest in my missive is Australia, where workplace stress and general un-wellness is costing the Australia economy $14.81 billion (Australian).

According to research recently published in the Herald Sun, the average Australian work misses over 3 days of work solely due to stress. And this isn't taking into account other illnesses, or holiday; this is purely burnout from work overload.

According to the Medibank report, the actual amount of monies lost due to stress is at $5.12 billion per year. However, adding the cost of those who decide to weather the storm and come to work, only to be useless, brings us to the number of $14.81 billion.

Australia is likely no different than work in Asia, the Americas, or Europe (the three areas that we tend to discus most often here) in that employees are expected to take a lot from their employers. Often, the return on an employee's investment isn't that great (unless you're one of those types who think that an employee is just spending a company owner's cash and should count his or her blessings just to have a job).

As I've said before, and I'll say it again, companies need to find a way to deal with stressed employees in a more efficient manner. Obviously, there will always be some stress in the workplace, which can be a motivating factor as well.

However, working someone to the point that their health is in jeopardy, or to look at it from another angle, to the point that they cannot make you any money, it's simply unacceptable in the 21st century.

If companies aren't going to look at it from a human health standpoint, perhaps they should see how much of that $14.81 billion represents their company's share and then act accordingly.