The Workplace Stress Epidemic: Insights Based on Consumer Data

In recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have learned more about our mental health. But many people find that stress is more difficult to cope with than ever before, especially work stress is even more difficult to cope with.

In this report jointly written by WPO and Lima, we explored Lima’s 2020-21 global insurance consumer research on health and health promotion and WPO’s actual stress consulting data to clarify the work Stress and the importance of maintaining a positive attitude.

The global burden of disease research estimates that millions people suffered from mental illness; accounting for more than one-tenth (10.7%) of the global populatio. Statistics show that in the world, no one is immune from stress, regardless of age, gender, race, or religion.

The new crown virus is a physical confrontation for the infected, and a real spiritual journey for everyone. Lima’s latest global insurance consumer research found that although most respondents believe that there is a sense of stigma associated with mental health issues, the epidemic has brought opportunities to open up people’s minds in terms of mental health.

Public awareness campaigns from brands or governments encourage people to change their emphasis on mental health issues, raise awareness, and encourage people to talk about mental illness. For example, “Time to talk” in the UK, “Listening” in India (#EarForYou), “How are you?” in Australia and New Zealand, and so on. After years of long-term shortage of funds, it seems that fundamental changes have recently occurred. Investment in mental health services has increased, the scope of support has been expanded, and the quality of care services has been improved. For example, it is interesting that the theme slogan for World Mental Health Day 2020 is also “Let’s Invest”.

According to Lima’s 2020 Global Insurance Consumer Research, more than one-third of people often or always feel stressed; 40% of people have experienced mental pain for a period of time. In addition, these issues have different effects on us. Women and younger generations are more affected by mental health problems. Generation Z and millennials are four times more likely to experience periods of anxiety or stress than the silent generation (generally over the age of 75).

Let the work take the blame
Let’s talk about the causes of stress next. Generally involving these aspects-work, money, family, and health, which inevitably affect each other-stress seems to be more common for employed people.

Perhaps paradoxically, when comparing the employed and the unemployed, these figures highlight a significant difference, indicating that the level of pressure on employed persons is higher. Among the employed population:

More likely to feel stressed often or always

More likely to self-report poor mental health


As the job selection WPO specializes in providing services to customers and employees around the world, this allows us to have a deeper understanding of the data behind the consultation requests at work. In 2020, nearly 80% of employees using this service are related to stress, followed by depression and anxiety.

Stress is a complicated matter involving individuals. Fortunately, it seems that more people are conscious and willing to seek help. The analysis from the WPO job selection shows that only in the early stage of the epidemic in March 2020, the number of logins to the WPO online psychological support website has increased by 55% year-on-year.

Ninety percent of people participating in the global survey believe that physical and mental health are connected. There is a clear correlation between self-perception of health and stress. When people feel calm, they tend to feel healthier, and vice versa

Global insurance consumer research data found that there is a difference between those who self-report that they have suffered stress (42.2%) and those who have received a formal diagnosis (26.8%), such as Shown in Figure 7.

This is consistent with the WPO data on the use of global online consultation. Although it has increased by 10 times in March/April 2020, the total number of people receiving the service accounts for less than 3% of all employees who have the service. And this varies from country to country . As we transition to a more digital lifestyle, further analysis is needed to understand the effectiveness of this service.

As Lima clearly pointed out, financial and work issues are the most important causes of stress in our lives on a global scale. But dealing with them is a complex issue. we discover:

Most people establish a clear connection between physical health and mental health. People’s self-perception of stress directly affects their self-perception of overall health.

The epidemic has increased people’s awareness of mental health issues including stress and anxiety. This is more prominent among women and younger generations.

In terms of mental health, most people have a sense of stigma, and the “psychological” barrier to seeking professional help is still serious.

Combining consumer trend data and “real” data from professional consulting service agencies allows us to better understand people and the underlying causes of mental health problems. These findings indicate the necessity of establishing cross-ecosystem partnerships. By cooperating with different departments, including public authorities, medical/service providers, companies, insurance companies, health actors and charities, etc., we can not only raise awareness, but also better guide people on how to simply understand their emotions healthy.

About WPO
Job selection WPO helps customers and employees to balance work, family and personal needs, so as to become healthier, happier, and more effective personally and professionally. The company’s world-class employee support, employee effectiveness, and welfare services provide information, resources, referrals, and counseling on a variety of issues, from family care and stress management to psychological services and overall health plans.

WPO is the world’s largest comprehensive employee support and work-life service provider, with an internationally certified provider and professional network. Service centers cover the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal, France, Belgium, UAE, Singapore, Japan, China, India, and Indonesia, providing support to 116,000+ organizations and 70,000,000+ employees in 200+ countries and regions.

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The Workplace Stress Epidemic: Insights Based on Consumer Data - /10


In recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have learned more about our mental health. But many people find that stress is more difficult to cope with than ever before, especially work stress is even more difficult to cope with.

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