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Stress, still among top threats to employee productivity in 2023

Updated: Jan 10

HR TRENDS 2023: Workplace stress will continue to be detrimental to employee engagement and productivity in 2023, driving companies to swiftly address the issue to prevent staff from leaving.

According to a report from Gallup, about 60% of employees felt emotionally detached from their jobs last year. The study also revealed that workplace well-being and satisfaction have plateaued after almost a decade of improvements.


This disengagement can lead to various negative outcomes, including increased stress levels, decreased productivity, and even health problems. At the same time, workplace stress and burnout can lead to increased absenteeism.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore and the Philippines top the list where people do not handle stress well and find living in their countries detrimental to their well-being. Millue Insight's report revealed that Singaporeans (87%) and Filipinos (78%) found living in their countries stressful. They are followed by Malaysia (61%), Thailand (59%), Indonesia (51%), and lastly Vietnam (42%).

The main causes of employee stress include long working hours, low salaries, lack of job security, and a competitive work environment. The Covid-19 pandemic has also exacerbated these issues. A survey conducted by Investing in Women found that over 90% of private sector employees in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam said the pandemic highly impacted their mental well-being.


To address these issues, many employers have responded by paying more attention to mental health and well-being and implementing programs to boost morale. This will continue well into 2023.


Globally, there is a rise in “chief happiness officers”. These are professionals who are responsible for employee satisfaction in a company. Over 4,000 companies have them, according to LinkedIn. It is expected that these professionals will continue to increase as employee wellness gains more ground.

While addressing workplace stress is a complex challenge, there are a few key things that HR leaders can do to help such as identifying the early signs of burnout and stress that can lead to a decline in morale and an increase in turnover rate if not prevented.

Aside from stress-reduction programs and access to mental health resources, the implementation of flexible work arrangements could also help avert employee burnout and stress.

Enforcing flexible vacation policies or encouraging employees to use their paid time off as mental health days will also create a safe environment for them to feel comfortable in taking a step back whenever they feel overwhelmed at work.


This article is from the Chief of Staff Asia's latest report, Looking Ahead: HR Trends for 2023.

Click this link to access the full report.


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Stress, still among top threats to employee productivity in 2023


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