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Workplace Stress: Impact & Outcome – An India Study 2016

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Chestnut Global Partners (CGP) India, along with SHRM India have collaborated to understand the Indian EAP landscape in a more scientific approach than ever done before. The aim was not just to understand the areas of concern but also to measure the impact of stress on the organizations’ top line.

The online survey on impact of stress on employee productivity was taken up by a total of 2157 respondents and included senior management interviews from 12 organizations spanning across 3 sectors – IT, Banking and Travel & Hospitality.


As a fast growing economy with high levels of competition and multiple global recession cycles, work related stress is becoming more common and less acceptable at Indian workplaces. This coupled with a changing social fabric and social mores which play a role in personal lives, has a direct impact on the physical, mental and emotional health of the workforce at all levels. Chronic and life-style related health issues are growing rapidly among the so called ‘Young India workforce’.

It is predicted that by 2025, India will have more than 57% of the population suffering from diabetes. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and tobacco consumption are seen as high-risk elements in employee health and wellness that will impact the workforce. Corporates across India have become sensitive to the prevalent health issues and the impact of stress at the workplace on performance and productivity. Leadership firms are working at building health and wellness programs that make their workforce a lot more resilient to the external challenges.

Is lifestyle related illness adding to stress or is it the other way around? Is the pace at which we work and live causing stress? Is the ferocious pace of development giving people very little space to breathe and pause for a while to reflect?

At a stage like this, CGP India, along with SHRM India planned to understand the landscape in a more scientific approach than ever done before. Our effort was not just to understand the areas of concern but also to measure the impact of stress on the organizations top line. The effort to measure this impact from an INR perspective is suspected to be the first of its kind in India and that is what makes this report all the more unique and relevant to you.

It will be of interest for Business Heads, CEOs and Managing Directors to reconcile to the fact that if ‘Stress @ Workplace’ is impacting their top line significantly, then it is time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Key Findings of the Study


Stress caused either due to professional or personal challenges has an impact on both the Return on Investment – ROI (quantifiable) as well as Value on Investment– VOI (qualitative)of an organization

  • The total organizational productivity loss per year approximately adds upto INR 49.67 Cr, 105.48 Cr and 10.5 Cr across IT/ITES, Finance / Banking and Travel & Hospitality sectors respectively making it a serious contender for organizational investments towards holistic health and wellness of employees particularly with a focus on minimizing stress levels (Table 1)
  • Lack of clarity of goals, lack of flexibility, having to work in shifts, and inability to manage personal and professional responsibilities have high impact on absenteeism and result in loss of productivity

Value on Investment perspective

  • Lack of clarity of goals, inability to manage personal and professional responsibilities, lack of flexibility and overtime result in low work engagement, high levels of fatigue as well as increased presenteeism (Fig 7)
  • CHROs put forth strong views on employee retention, undesirable behaviour and culture of negativity at workplace to be some of the important stressors from a VOI perspective

Here is the report.

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