Hard work can have great impact on life for many Americans. However, whether that effect is positive or negative is often dictated by the stress level of an individual employee. While America is known as one of the most productive countries in the world, its workers are also among the most likely to experience job-related stress.
Stress can lead to poor performance on the job. Its negative side effects, including fatigue and a weakened immune system, can also creep into other aspects of life outside the workplace, resulting in more sick days and less quality time spent with loved ones. Although work provides a paycheck, money can have little meaning to workers who are unable to spend quality time with family and friends.
Is the 40-hour work week an outdated model?
Human resource experts agree that reducing work-related stress could be the key to unlocking employee productivity and strengthening lifestyle satisfaction. The 40-hour work week is often seen as the standard for full-time work. However, a recent study found that employees spent only 39 percent of their work day actually doing their job in 2016. This number is down from 46 percent in 2015.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, full-time employees who were allowed to cut out lunch breaks for a shorter work day were more productive because they were incentivized with more free time outside of work. Today, more companies are experimenting with flexible schedules and a 30-hour work week.
Help is available for workers who feel overwhelmed
The insidious effects of stress on emotional and mental wellbeing should not be ignored. Smaller companies and workers in unique job roles may be unable to adapt to new work week trends. However, options are still available to employees who feel sick or overwhelmed due to work-related stress.
Stress is unseen, which can make a case harder to prove, but it can manifest itself in diagnosable physical symptoms. Workers’ compensation covers employees who experience injuries or illnesses over a sustained period of time on the job. However, as tough as a job can be, filing for workers’ compensation can be an even more challenging process.
Doctors can provide care, but who decides what is fair for stressed out employees? A law firm that specializes in workers’ compensation helps workers have their case heard in front of a judge. Through this process, employees can earn compensation for medical bills and lost time and work due to on-the-job stress.