• Workers' daily stress reached a record high in 2020, according to the Global Workplace 2021 Report.
  • 43% of respondents in over 100 countries claimed to have experienced stress, up from 38% in 2019.
  • Border closures, workplace closures and job cuts are believed to be the cause.
  • According to the report, workers in the US and Canada recorded the highest levels of daily stress globally at 57%.
  • In Western Europe, stress decreased to 39%, from 46% in 2019.

Worry, stress, anger and sadness among employees worldwide have been on the rise over the past decade, reaching record levels in 2020. This is according to a survey for the 'State of the Global Workplace 2021 Report' conducted by Gallup in 116 countries.

The report highlights that due to "global border closures, workplace closures and job cuts, workers' daily stress reached a record high" last year. Specifically, 43% of respondents in more than 100 countries claimed to have experienced stress for much of the previous day, while this percentage was 38% in 2019.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about mental health?

One in four people will experience mental illness in their lives, costing the global economy an estimated $6 trillion by 2030.

Mental ill-health is the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people aged 10–24 years, contributing up to 45% of the overall burden of disease in this age-group. Yet globally, young people have the worst access to youth mental health care within the lifespan and across all the stages of illness (particularly during the early stages).

In response, the Forum has launched a global dialogue series to discuss the ideas, tools and architecture in which public and private stakeholders can build an ecosystem for health promotion and disease management on mental health.

One of the current key priorities is to support global efforts toward mental health outcomes - promoting key recommendations toward achieving the global targets on mental health, such as the WHO Knowledge-Action-Portal and the Countdown Global Mental Health

Read more about the work of our Platform for Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, and contact us to get involved.

a chart showing the increase in worker stress
Daily stress reached a record high in 2020.
Image: Statista

Although stress globally reached record highs in 2020, not all regions of the world experienced the same levels. According to Gallup, workers in the United States and Canada recorded the highest levels of daily stress globally (57%), while in Western Europe, stress decreased to 39%, from 46% in 2019.