The ongoing economic crisis is taking its toll on families and companies across the US, says a study on 300 married, working couples.
Wayne Hochwarter, the Jim Moran Professor of Management at Florida State University's College of Business, has revealed just how deeply the crunch is being felt.
He sought to find out how the financial crisis is affecting people both at work and in their personal lives.
His findings show that in the workplace, large numbers of people are feeling more stress, more pressure from management, and more concern about their job security.
They are also witnessing more incivility, says the researcher.
In his research, Hochwarter found that more than 70 percent of both men and women in the survey confirmed that the recession has significantly increased the stress levels of employees in recent months.
More than one-half (55 percent) reported that management has grown increasingly demanding over this period, and more than 65 percent predicted significant job changes to occur within one year, causing employees to grow progressively more concerned about job status.
About 80 percent of employees reported being nervous about their long-term financial well-being, while more than 60 percent were asked to find ways to cut costs on a weekly basis.
More than 40 percent of employees reported increased incivility (i.e., "backstabbing," "sucking up" and politicking) as a means to stay employed in the event of a layoff.
Where home life was concerned, more than 70 percent of the people surveyed admitted making significant spending changes, including a decision to limit or eliminate the purchase of items deemed non-essential.
More than 80 percent of them also admitted that it was unlikely they would be able to retire when they wanted, and with the amount of money anticipated as recently as one year ago.
"Scared, it's the one word I would use to describe the mental status of employees these days," Hochwarter said.
"Employees are more stressed and more strained today, and they aren't looking to make a move to improve their situation. The study shows employees have little confidence that the next work situation will be any more secure than the current one.
"The housing market is also playing a big role," he said. "For many, selling a house and its potential to contribute to an already dire financial situation is simply too much at this point," he added.
Hochwarter's research confirms that developing a climate of trust and expanding lines of communication, even when the news is not favorable, may help reduce the anxiety associated with job insecurity.