Article: Most stressful jobs in 2017

Life @ Work

Most stressful jobs in 2017

Stress is the single-most reason for work-life imbalance. How can an organization help employees in dealing with Stress? Read here.
Most stressful jobs in 2017

The nature and demands of workplace have evolved significantly over last 50 years. Stressful jobs include physical demands, on-the-job hazards, environmental conditions, and the risk of personal injury or injury to another for whom the worker is directly responsible. Conditions that evoke stress, includes he amount of travel, the growth potential, having deadlines, working in the public eye, competitiveness, physical demands, environmental conditions, hazards, risk to one's own life, risk to the life of another and meeting the public. No matter what industry we work in, stress is an unwelcome part of any occupation. 

Work stress can be challenging to come up with is the fact that people don't experience stress in the same way. What one person finds stressful in the workplace might be the very task or situation that others enjoy. Someone who is comfortable with public speaking won't find the act of making a business presentation to be stressful, for example. Many people think stress, by definition, is a negative thing that they should attempt to avoid at all times. This myth is very common, but it is untrue. There are situations in which stress - managed effectively - can actually be beneficial. Whether positive or negative, experiencing stress triggers emotions such as anxiety, pressure, excitement, fear, panic, and other feelings. Think about those elements of our current job and of positions we have held in the past that trigger similar emotions. When we are able to identify conditions and situations that lead to these types of responses, we will know what work stress means.

Stress can hit anyone at any level of the business and recent research shows that work related stress is widespread and is not confined to particular sectors, jobs or industries. Stress is not an illness – it is a state. However, if stress becomes too excessive and prolonged, mental and physical illness may develop. Well-designed, organised and managed work is generally good for us but when insufficient attention to job design, work organisation and management has taken place, it can result in Work related stress. Stress can also result from having too few demands, as people will become bored, feel undervalued and lack recognition. If they feel they have little or no say over the work they do or how they do it, this may cause them stress. Factors of Stress:

  • Background and culture;
  • Skills and experience;
  • Personality;
  • Personal circumstances;
  • Health status; ethnicity, gender, age or disability; and
  • Other demands both in and outside work.


CareerCast's ranking system considers 11 different job demands  that can be expected to evoke stress, including the amount of travel, the growth potential, having deadlines, working in the public eye, competitiveness, physical demands, environmental conditions, hazards, risk to one's own life, risk to the life of another and meeting the public. Here is the CareerCasts's annual Most Stressful Jobs report’s ranking for the 10 most stressful jobs of 2017 and their stress scores:

  1. Enlisted military personnel: 72.74
  2. Firefighter: 72.68
  3. Airline pilot: 60.54
  4. Police officer: 51.68
  5. Event coordinator: 51.15
  6. Newspaper reporter: 49.9
  7. Corporate executive (senior): 48.56
  8. Public relations executive: 48.5
  9. Taxi driver: 48.18
  10. Broadcaster: 47.93


No job is free from stress. All fields have their stresses. It may come from the expectations placed on you by a client, employer or yourself. The nature of our stresses simply vary. Globeandmail.com quoted the study author Erich Dierdorff,  assistant professor of management at DePaul University. For the study, researchers examined people in 126 occupations and found that police officers, fire-fighters and family or general practice physicians were ranked among occupations with the highest levels of work-life conflict while taxi drivers, insurance adjusters and bank tellers are among those with the least. Dierdorff found that social interaction is one stress factor, but another is whether a person faces increased responsibility for the work quality, health and safety of co-workers. According to the American Institute of Stress, job stress costs US businesses more than $300 billion annually. In addition to paying 50% more annually in health costs for stressed workers, employers are dealing with additional effects of stress that directly impact their profitability, such as loss of productivity, absenteeism, turnover and disengagement.

A recent study by Chicago-based employee assistance provider ComPsych  deemed "unclear expectations from supervisors" as the most stressful part of any job. The study focused specifically on stress in the workplace during times of change. Of course, that notes just one source of workplace stress people face every day. Everyday work pressures are compounded by the current troubled economy and near constant news streams of foreclosures and layoffs, meaning employees are feeling the effects of anxiety and stress more than ever before. With this in mind, there has never been a more important time for employers to make reducing stress a top priority; as:

Lead by Example: As a leader its critical to keep a lid on his/her own emotions; don’t let negativity, anger or stress rub off on other employees. Practice what we preach and ensure we give ourself enough time to de-stress at the end of the working day.

Launching workplace wellness schemes: Employee wellness schemes, such as paying for a portion of employees gym memberships or running group-wide healthy eating challenges is a good way to help employees unwind and feel better about themselves.

Allow Flexi time and remote working:  A major stress inducer, particularly for women, is stringent working hours. Just make sure you manage this sort of flexibility with open communication and by outlining clear expectations and parameters. 

Provide a leisure space in Office: Sometimes people need 15 minutes to relax, re-group and disengage from technology and general work related interactions. After taking a short break free from distractions, people often feel refreshed and re-energized to tackle the rest of the day.

Improving social activity: Employees spend a lot of time with their co-workers and therefore its important they get along. The more people enjoy their time at work, the better the atmosphere will be – and a better office atmosphere leads to productivity, creativity and collaboration. 

Communication with employee: Open communication is a two way street and the more one converse with his/her employees, the more likely they are to share concerns, ideas and thoughts making for much stronger working relationships and a healthier overall company culture.

Employers are still less comfortable dealing with someone with mental health problems than someone with a physical disability. This needs to change. Also, cultural attitudes to stress need to move into the modern age. Employees are often concerned about the stigma attached to mental health conditions. It is important that businesses have a genuinely supportive culture and not just policies that are applied inconsistently by different managers. If workers are given the necessary support, it will help them to recover and return to work as soon as possible.

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Topics: Life @ Work

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