20 percent said their daily stress level is 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale

Although the majority of employed adults are satisfied with their jobs, fewer report being satisfied with specifics such as opportunities for advancement, flexibility, and employee recognition, according to a study just released by the American Psychological Association.

The Harris Interactive Stress in the Workplace survey found that more than two-thirds (69 percent) of employed adults report they are satisfied with their job. However, less than half (46 percent) report being satisfied with the recognition practices of their employer and only one third (35 percent) report that they feel their employer provides sufficient opportunities for internal advancement.

More than one third (36 percent) of workers said they typically feel tense or stressed out during their workday and almost half (49 percent) said low salary is significantly impacting their stress level at work. Twenty percent report that their average daily level of stress from work is an 8, 9, or 10 on a 10-point scale.

Employees also cite lack of opportunities for growth and advancement (43 percent), heavy workload (43 percent), unrealistic job expectations (40 percent) and long hours (39 percent) as significant sources of stress.

Less than half of employees (43 percent) said they receive non-monetary rewards and recognition for their contributions at work and only 57 percent reported being satisfied with their employer’s work-life practices. Just 52 percent of employees said they feel valued on the job and only two thirds reported being motivated to do their best at work. In a finding nearly identical to one in a recent MetLife survey, almost a third (32 percent) indicated that they intend to seek employment elsewhere within the next year.

Nearly two-thirds of employed adults report their employer has made some type of cut due to the recession. Sixty-four percent report that their employer has made at least one cut.

The most commonly reported cuts employers have made according to employed adults is laying off employees followed by reducing or eliminating bonuses, reducing or eliminating social activities, and increasing employee contribution towards health insurance costs. For each cut listed, over half of those who indicated the cut was made report that the cut has not been reversed.


The Stress in the Workplace survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Psychological Association between January 31 - February 8, 2011 among 1,546 adults aged 18+ who reside in the U.S who are either employed full-time, part-time, or self-employed. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.