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November 02, 2021

Work-related stress on the rise: report

Lost work time productivity because of depression and substance abuse in Canada is now estimated at $51 billion a year, says Bill Wilkerson, head of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health.

But even in a high-stress jobs like policing, the job itself is not the major source of stress, it’s “usually what is going on in the office,” he says.

The biggest source of workplace worries? Boredom, repetition, ludicrous deadlines, layoffs, restructuring, unsafe work environments, sexual harassment, and difficult personality types can all contribute to higher levels of stress.
And sometimes, even in “job-for-life” countries like France, that stress can be a killer.

Over the past 20 months, 25 employees of France Télécom have taken their own lives. Several others, including one woman who overdosed during her lunch break, were rescued after they tried to kill themselves.

Many of the company’s employees had to change job positions and location every couple of years, often with little notice, in order to better adapt to a changing market.

To combat this malaise, Labour Minister Xavier Darcos wants the biggest French firms to negotiate anti-stress strategies with unions over the next few months. He also called on small and medium-sized companies to spot problems early, with support from workplace health services.

But, if you're on edge at work, there are ways to take matters into your own hands, according to Marla Brooks, author of Workplace Spells: Everyday Magick on the Job.

Brooks says that there is a spell for any workplace situation and some of them are quite easy to execute.

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...