Stress, Related Problems on Rise in India's Outsourcing Industry

Ann All

I blogged back in September about the rise of Western-style ills like stress, depression and heart disease among workers in India's outsourcing industry.

 

The problem is an increasingly serious one, reports the Washington Post. The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations is projecting a possible 20-fold increase in lost productivity due to health issues such as heart disease and diabetes over the next decade if the country doesn't take some kind of corrective action.

 

India's health minister is pushing for a special health policy for employees in the IT industry, mostly men and women in their 20s and 30s who work long hours performing tedious and sometimes stressful tasks such as writing software code or answering customer service calls.

 

A counseling company called 1 to 1 Help, formed to help employees deal with stress at work, has added seven new companies to its client roster in the past two months, including IBM, HP and Mindtree Consulting. Outsourcing giant Infosys Technologies offers counseling via a 24-hour help line.

 

IDC surveyed more than 1,700 employees at 19 outsourcing companies and found that 32 percent suffered from sleep disorders, 25 percent experienced digestive troubles and 20 percent reported issues with their eyesight.


 

While these work-related problems are also common among IT professionals in the U.S., they are potentially far more serious in India, where the World Health Organization says that heart disease will account for 35 percent of deaths among working-age residents from 2000 to 2030. In contrast, that number is 12 percent in the U.S., 22 percent in China and 25 percent in Russia.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Dec 29, 2007 4:26 AM subramanian subramanian  says:
The stress related problems in the Indian context are more due to mis-conveived notions about how one should conduct oneself in the different life situations : family, workplace, social gatherings, what to expect from others, expectations from others, meanings and expectations that they draw from behaviour of significant others, not knowing how to say no, over-promising and the fear of failure to deliver, over sensitivity to peer group comparisons / expectations, lower self esteem and sense of self worth, measuring oneself against low level , highly granular and immediate performance parameters indoctrinated by employers to seek their own goals : customer satisfaction to be competitive, the employees having no other opportunities (due to their narrow skill base and unwillingness to fore-go the more than deserving packages they have been receiving, family pressure to maintain or enhance pay packets etc., ), other than continue in the sector. Reply
Jan 9, 2008 8:42 AM dedicated staff dedicated staff  says:
Outsourcing industry has its own drawbacks: stress, sleep disorders, unhealthy social life, heart problems, and diabetes among others. It is probable that sooner, there will be increased lost in productivity and scarcity in IT-capable workers in this field; that is, if proper actions are not done by the outsourcing industry itself and the government. Reply
Mar 7, 2008 9:53 AM Metro Nirvana Metro Nirvana  says:
In a fast paced and deadline-focused world of business, nothing is more important than signing the contract, getting the deal, or closing the sale. Employees regularly put in more than fifty hours of work, eat lunch at their desks, and often work at a burnout pace. Little do the employees and the bosses realize how this stressful work style leads to poor decision making skills, lowered productivity and morale, absenteeism and finally attrition!If you feel that stress has taken over your life, you may need to seek outside help from a stress management professional or therapist. Only a professional can help you choose between a number of approaches that are available to help reduce the symptoms of stress and decrease the stressors in your life. Remember, combating stress takes a professional effort and not some run of the mill soft-skill training program, but the results are well worth the investment. Metro Nirvana is a holistic wellness enterprise. We offer customized stress management programs that meet the needs and interests of employees at all hierarchical levels. We have developed a powerful program called POWERJUVENATION that helps combat stress in the busiest of workday environment. This trademark program works on the physiological, cognitive, behavioral and spiritual levels of your employees, enhancing their ability to work under pressure. For more information visit us at http://www.metronirvana.com Reply
Oct 27, 2008 2:13 AM Jesse Ham Jesse Ham  says:
Has anyone told you that you really look like the joker, just a female version. Are you heath Ledger's wife or something i don't know. but, you really do, anyway, you should get a new haircut Reply
Oct 27, 2008 2:18 AM Brent Derocher Brent Derocher  says:
so, ..... you know, you are a very wise person, whenever i read this, my mind jumps cause i am so surprised how wise you are. But, beyond all that wisdom and knowledge in your writing, i also noticed that you really look like a female joker from the Batman: The Dark Knight. I hope you somehow get plastic surgery or something, but i don't know, something like that, but you are very smart. so ........ i don't know what to say right now, but id like to meet you in person sometime. but, before i do, you better do something about how you look. so, see ya later Reply
Nov 12, 2009 1:08 AM V V  says: in response to subramanian

How True .... You brought out valid issues Mr. Subramanian. Actually its not just outsourcing, a lot of people (especially Indians) face this kind of stress, whether in India or anywhere else. May be more in people from I.T sector. Pressure, comparison, need to fit in a social circle, a lot of factors contribute to stress.

Our needs are growing beyond bounds. Far beyond what is necessary for a healthy happy life.

Reply

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