Stressed out or stress free?

Yesterday we had a poll from research bureau Mercer which apparently told us the Dutch are among the most stressed workers in Europe.

Indeed, a whopping 76% said stress was one of the main reasons for taking a day off work. And experts said this was due to the Dutch work ethos.
And now today, Reader’s Digest tells us the Dutch are among the most stress-free in Europe. Just 15% see stress as a problem, which is half the European average. Who to believe?
Perhaps the two results do not rule each other out. The answer could simply be that we in the Netherlands might think stress is a good reason to call in sick and at the same time we don’t feel guilty about doing so.
But any mention of the Dutch, stress and work always leads to debate – witness the comments that have come into the website.
This stems partly from the fact that stress at work (often a row with the boss) is seen as an acceptable reason to become ill. And it also is a logical follow-on from the fact that the Dutch have a lot of time off – due to the official working week being usually 36 hours and the popularity of part-time working.
Outsiders can moan that Dutch offices are empty on a Friday afternoon and that the evening rush hour always seems to start at 3pm. But if you are after a stress-free existence – perhaps it is the way to go.

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