Stress has come to be recognized as a major problem in the contemporary workplace. There is now a growing body of knowledge which emphasizes how harmful excessive levels of pressure can be. Kinder, Hughes and Cooper point out that:
The collective cost of stress to US organisations has been estimated at approximately US$ 150 billion a year. In European countries, stress costs the economy an estimated 5–10% of GNP per annum. Studies show that workplace stress was responsible for more long-term sickness absence than any other core factor. With absence come increased workloads, longer working hours, lower morale, increased mistakes and accidents, culminating in reduced productivity.
(2008b, p. 2)