At first glance, the frequency is particularly surprising: Only 29 percent of the employees, according to a central result, are “often” or “constantly” stressed at work.
Given the flood of burnout literature and anti-stress guides that have flooded us for at least 20 years, this figure seems pretty low. Nevertheless, on closer inspection, it is no reason to give the all-clear.
Deloitte deliberately carried out his study very broadly, surveyed 23,000 employees of different levels from 1,300 companies in 120 countries. The subject of stress was considered situationally, ie the respondents were presented with different situations such as “organizing a meeting”, “working alone on a difficult project” or “talking to an angry customer”, combined with the question of whether and to what extent they of which are stressed.
The tasks and situations that are most stressful include: own mistakes, mentioned by 82 percent of those surveyed, long, exhausting working days (52 percent), conflict situations such as being reprimanded or having to convey unpleasant news to others (52 percent), project work under pressure (46 percent) and challenging personal interactions such as giving a presentation (45 percent).
Overall, it is expectations and conflicts that cause stress. However, this does not have the same effect on everyone, as a detailed look at the respondents reveals. To understand this connection, a look at the respondents is important: The study was carried out by Deloitte Greenhouse, a comparatively new consulting division that specializes in “experimental problem solving”, more precisely a combination of data analysis, psychology and behavioral research.
Part of this approach, which is not fully understandable, but in any case difficult to humanize – and we are back with the study – is the “Business Chemistry” concept, with the help of which employees can be typed. And different types react very differently to stress.
First there is Guardian, so guardian, a hardworking, conventional worker who always makes sure that nothing gets out of hand. And who easily gets stressed, should this ever be the case.
The guy is also susceptible to stress Integrator, an employee who likes to communicate a lot, who knows what’s going on internally and who likes to keep the strings together. Why is he prone to stress? Because this type, so Deloitte, also includes a number of dreamers, people who lose sight of the actual goals of the company or even the department simply because of communication. And they get problems when they have to deal with them again.
The so-called Driver advised people who concentrate heavily on (by them) goals that are considered important and also head towards them. Their problem may be that they get lost in details and get tangled. That also produces stress.
The least susceptible to stress – at least if you follow Deloitte’s logic – are Pioneers, People who drive developments, also go unusual ways, which in short do not care much about the opinion and judgment of others.
The reverse is also remarkable: extremely team-minded, sensitive people who can listen well to others are “extremely valuable for the team,” says Suzanne Vickberg, senior manager at Deloitte and one of the authors of the study, “but at the same time they are often everyone’s most stressed out, and often overlooked by others. “
The bottom line of all of this is split into two. First realization: Expectations, conflicts, mistakes and accusations all stress out, in this respect something similar happens in the office as in a marriage.
Secondly, how close someone lets such things to themselves depends on their type, depends primarily on the style of work and the reaction to the feedback from others. Kim Christfort, Managing Director at Deloitte and also co-author of the study: “It is extremely important for executives to deal with the question of what exactly motivates which employee. This not only helps to resolve conflicts in advance, it also ensures individual support for better results in a team. “
The question remains whether stress is bad for those who experience it in any case. To find out, Deloitte asked a second panel to ask 17,000 other employees how they view the impact of stress on their work performance. Sixty percent of “drivers” and “pioneers” (see above) said they were most effective when they were medium to heavily stressed. And at least half of the other respondents also assessed the effect of stress on their performance as rather positive.
- 8th place: programmer
Programmers face similar requirements to software developers – but write, test and code the applications and software developed by the developers. Surprisingly, according to the American Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), fewer and fewer programmers are being sought on the market.
- 7th place: software developer
The task of a software developer is to develop computer programs. Ideally, they should meet their deadlines, satisfy customers and meet their company’s expectations for software development. According to the BLS, demand for this job profile will increase by 17 percent by 2024. This also makes the job as a software developer more stressful.
- 6th place: IT service technician
With the technological boom, the need for service technicians to keep computers and other devices alive in the workplace is growing. Not surprisingly, the IT service technician profession is among the eight most stressful IT jobs.
- 5th place: Data Scientist
The “data rage” has been rampant for a long time. Many companies are therefore desperately looking for data specialists, but find no (or only a few) suitable candi
dates. The few who already hold such a position have a lot to do accordingly.
- 4th place: network administrator
The network and system administrator job is not growing in popularity (BLS: minus 8 percent by 2024) – but it is still one of the most stressful IT jobs. No wonder, after all, the poor guy with this title on his business card is responsible for all of a company’s network traffic.
- 3rd place: IT system analyst
System analysts are responsible for examining a company’s IT systems and processes. Your goal: maximum efficiency. The job itself is already blessed with a pronounced stress level – however, due to the technological zeal of the digitization era, the stress factor once again receives a significant boost.
- 2nd place: Technical editor
According to the BLS, the profession of technical editor will become increasingly popular over the next eight years (growth by 2024: 27 percent). The main task of the technical editor is to work closely with developers, on the basis of which technical documentation, specialist articles, tutorials or operating instructions are created.
- 1st place: web developer
Web application developers have the most stressful job in the IT industry. But also the companies most in demand – according to the BLS, more than one in four HR managers are looking for specialists now or in the coming years.
The second group was also asked about their stress management strategies (multiple answers were also possible here). 83 percent say action helps them the most, to say jumping in and rooting for the upcoming challenge. 79 percent get along best when they stop and think carefully about the different options.
78 indicated that they tried to understand the situation in as much detail as possible, if necessary also by obtaining additional information. 47 percent get help from colleagues and 46 percent finally take a break, for example going to sport.
Another lesson learned from the survey is that superiors should not expect all of their people to react equally to stress, deal with it equally well, or all need stress to the same extent in order to work effectively.
And it does no harm to the stressed out to honestly differentiate between the expected stress response and their actual state of being.