12 deadly work sins

RECRUITMENT firm Catalyst has release its list of the 12 deadly sins in the work place.

According to the firm, ambition, customer service, job security, deadlines, office politics, management style, envy, technology, autonomy, workload, lack of appreciation and lack of control are the 12 most stress inducing factors in working life.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average length of time off work for a stress-related reason is 15 weeks and the average claim payment under Workers’ Compensation is $10,582.

Catalyst managing director George Zammit said these figures were just the tip of the iceberg.

“Work-related stress costs this country billions of dollars every year through productivity losses, absenteeism, sickness and health-related costs,” Mr Zammit said.

Stress claims have jumped over the past 12 years from just 1.7 per cent as a total percentage of workers’ compensation claims in 1985-86 to 5.1 per cent in 1997-98.

The ABS reports managers, public servants, school teachers, para-professionals and clerical workers made the most stress claims.

Mr Zammit said service oriented jobs — those dealing with the general public — were far more stressful than those involving inanimate objects, such as manufacturing, construction and technical professions.

Other stressful jobs include:

• The police force, who often deal with situations involving an element of danger

• The money market where the pressure is on to make snap decisions

• Creative roles, such as an advertising copywriter or art director, who are constantly expected to come up with original and exciting ideas

• The self-employed who shoulder all the responsibility and are constantly on call.

Mr Zammit said even negative stress was harmful.

“This occurs in jobs that offer no challenge,” he said. “The tasks are repetitive and boring, the brain is constantly in neutral and the worker spends the day looking at the clock.”

Mr Zammit said a growing number of companies were putting employees through stress management courses and creating health centres at work.

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