The job market may have improved somewhat, but that doesn’t meanworkers are feeling a whole lot more at ease when it comes to theworkplace.

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Related: Identifying the stress seasons in aworkforce

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That’s according to a report issued by global onlineteaching/learning marketplace Udemy for Business, which finds instead threechief factors are weighing down on employees: politics, artificial intelligence, and pressure tomaster new skills.

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The study, “Workplace Confidential: The Real Story BehindStress, Skills, and Success in America,” finds that not only do 60percent of U.S. workers feel stressed all or most of the time atwork, more than half (52 percent) of full-time employees in theU.S. feel more stressed today than they did a year ago.

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Companies need to understand and help combat those stressors —particularly since, according to the study, researchers give onemajor incentive to do so: they estimate that workplace stressaccounts for $190 billion in health care costs.

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While politics is the top outside-the-workplace stressor, with28 percent of respondents citing it at the top of their list, otherproblems included personal finances, family responsibilities, andlack of sleep. Inside the workplace, it’s a different story, withthe dominant fear the loss of jobs to AI or new technology,according to 43 percent.

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But of course that’s not all they’re worried about; othertop-ranking stressors include the pressure to master new skillsquickly to keep up with changing job responsibilities (52 percent)and feeling underskilled for the job (42 percent). Millennials andGen Z workers are feeling the stress most, with 64 percent sayingthey feeling stressed all or most of the time at work.

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So how are they fighting it? While 58 percent of workers haveturned to company-sponsored skills training, 42 percent have goneso far as to invest their own money in professional development. Inaddition, 54 percent are relying on meditation and physicalactivity for stress relief. A sizeable percentage has even opted topursue therapy or counseling, with millennials the most likely agegroup to do so.

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And how can companies help? First and foremost, by providingtraining which actually gets through to employees in ways they canbest absorb — especially since 57 percent of workers rankedopportunities to learn and grow as one of the most importantaspects of workplace culture. Not only that, but that’s where manylook for stress relief at work: 48 percent say that investing morein professional development is one of the highest-impact strategiesto fight stress that their company can do for them.

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With 54 percent of millennials and Gen Z employees preferringmore personalized, one-on-one coaching as their preferred form oflearning and 47 percent saying they’d like their companies to offeron-demand learning opportunities, it’s obvious that there’s work tobe done along those lines.

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But technical skills aren’t the only area where millennials inparticular need help, especially if they’re going to move up theladder — although only 43 percent of them believe they need tostrengthen soft skills in such areas as teambuilding, problemsolving, communication and management/leadership. In fact, evenfewer think their companies value such skills.

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Asked how companies can help millennials relieve stress, 72percent say wellness initiatives, while 56 percent opt for moreprofessional development, 50 percent choose more diverse skillstraining and 34 percent say they need to hire more people. Withoutbetter training for the staff they already have, companies couldfind themselves hiring even more additional people as they seekemployees with stronger soft skills.

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