Leveraging data to manage modern stress at work



Continuous stress is now the norm

Understandably, pandemic stress is challenging our resilience more than ever before. This ‘extraordinary event’ that’s potentially life-threatening for the more vulnerable among us, forced us to make profound changes in the ways we live and work. Even if not all these changes are bad, because they are so profound we need energy and mental availability to process them.

During the pandemic, the forced isolation of some team members presents new challenges for the managers too! “Out of sight, out of mind”: employees who work from home struggle with their work-life balance like never before, but you can’t (necessarily) see it! Akesio helps you to set up the proper infrastructure of support, so your team can receive the care they need.

Because the best companies deeply care for their people. Because living and working through a pandemic brought unprecedented challenges but also opportunities. Because we can’t innovate nor save the world while too stressed or unwell.  “Corporate chiefs and managers need to be mindful that employees’ mental state can be shaky in times of crisis—and take proper steps to help,” advises the consultancy firm Korn Ferry.

1 in 4

employees suffer from stress at work

1 in 3

employees lose sleep due to work related stress

1 in 2

employees don't ask for help due to stigma

Good vs Bad stress

Some workplace stress is perfectly normal, it can help employees to stay motivated and focused (‘healthy tension’). But when stress is excessive and it becomes more the norm rather than the exception— constant pressure, tight deadlines, constant work overload and/or difficult relationships with colleagues and managers, then stress can become harmful and problems ensue.

What is stress?

It’s a body in-built mechanism to save our lives in a life threatening situation.
It’s a “Fight or flight or freeze” reaction  to a stressor.

Workplace stress problems

Fatigue and exhaustion
Depressive thought or mood
Poor Sleep
Difficulties to stay focused
Loss of motivation, procrastination
Feeling of losing control or powerless
Decreased efficacy
Decreased creativity
Decreased job satisfaction
Disturbed personal life (loses boundaries between work and personal life)
Poor overall health and wellbeing (i.e. decreased libido, appetite changes, stomach, back pain, drugs use, loneliness etc)

How can a healthy work stress turn bad?

The main problem with stress at work is that it is contagious and when stressed managers pass their high tension on to their employees this can trigger a dangerous spiral for individuals but also for the organisation. More importantly, many companies think about employee wellbeing only in terms of healthy snacks or ping-pong tables. These are good initiatives but they are not enough.

For an efficient wellbeing programme, they need to create and strengthen a workplace culture that fosters psychological safety and prevents harmful stress.

Common causes of workplace stress

Toxic direct management (organisational management)
Unrealistic workload and/or deadlines
Boring job position (being over-skilled, lack of challenges)
Lack of recognition or reward, feeling undervalued
Hostile work environment
Constant pressure to perform
Feeling of ‘losing control’
Fear of being fired
Unhealthy work environment (lack of proper lighting, office ergonomics, air quality, noise etc).
Stress, depression or anxiety per 100,000 workers: 2017/2018
- 40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful;

- 25-30% absenteeism is due to stress
- only 30% of US workers and as few as 15% worldwide are highly engaged in their job (i.e. highly involved and enthusiastic about their work and workplace).

Stress depress motivation which in turn will hinder innovation.

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Common types of chronic Stress

Family and marriage difficulties
Financial problems
Job stress
Shift work or nighttime work hours
School stress, especially when combined with
work and family obligations
Care of ageing parents, often combined with
raising one's own children
Substances abuse, including
tobacco and alcohol

Stress Response System

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The body respond to stress via HPA axis (hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis) that will trigger stress hormonal cascade across multiple organs and systems

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Learn more

Chronic Stress Manifestations

Burnout "Occupational Phenomenon"

WHO's new definition 2019
Is an occupational phenomenon resulting from chronic work stress that has not successfully managed.
Has 3 dimensions:
- Energy depletion or exhaustion
- Mental distance from one's job (negativism, cynicism).
- Reduced professional efficiency
"Organizations are facing an employee burnout crisis. A recent Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23% of employees reported feeling burned out at work very often or always, while an additional 44% reported feeling burned out sometimes. That means about two-thirds of full-time workers experience burnout on the job".

Stress affects the BEST employees

Is an occupational phenomenon resulting from chronic work stress that has not successfully managed.
72% of top performers are exposed to high levels of stress.
Millennials are very exposed to burnout (Deloitte study):
"Burnout affects millennials retention: 84 percent of millennials say they have experienced burnout at their current job, compared to 77 percent of all respondents. Nearly half of millennials say they have left a job specifically because they felt burned out, compared to 42 percent of all respondents".

The Effects of Employee Burnout

Employees who say they very often or always experience burnout at work are:


more likely to take a sick day


more likely to visit the emergency room


more likely to leave their current employer


less confident in their performance
In short, employee burnout can trigger a downward spiral in individual and organizational performance, and put your organisation at risk losing your best elements.

The Human Cost

Poor mental health is known to disrupt a person’s life as well as the lives of those around them. Possible problems include lack of sleep,  panic attacks, decreased concentration, and low self-esteem.

This can lead to a downwards spiral, as an individual may withdraw from social situations and lose their support networks and structures at a time when they need them most. The knock-on impact on family life and friends is also important here, with many people ‘holding it together’ at work, but then not being themselves at home. Poor mental health also means that individuals can find themselves less able to cope with elements of their personal lives such as relationship breakdown, financial difficulties and housing problems.

The ultimate human cost is loss of life through suicide. Poor mental health and suicide are higher for employees in certain industries though clearly there are a number of factors which contribute to such trends.

The cost to organisations

The overall cost to British employers of stress, anxiety and depression (2002):
£1035 per employee per year (€1220)
- 32.4% is due to absenteeism

- 58.4% to ‘presenteeism’

- 9.2% to staff turnover
Work-related stress in 2016/17 accounted for an average of 23.9 work days lost for every person affected and 25.8 in 2017/2018

The cost to national economies

$300 Billion

Work Stress estimated to cost American businesses up to $300 billion a year

Work related stress costs Europe over
€600 Billion a Year

Work related-depression cost:
€272 billion - absenteeism and presenteeism
€242 billion - loss of productivity
€63 billion - health care costs
€39 billion - social welfare costs

Stress at work is not usually quantified by modern medicine nor by corporate management

When it occurs, stress evaluation is highly subjective, based on self-reported symptoms.

The traditional approach to stress by doctors and psychologists alike does not rely on biological check-ups.

On the other side, most companies don't have effective systems in place to prevent and monitor harmful work stress, even if there is more and more openness and desire to do the right things for mental health and wellbeing at work for their employees. Only 22% of managers would be trained for stress management at work.

We objectify stress measurement

If you can't measure it... you can't improve it
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By measuring your biological response to stress
We provide a customised stress management solution and  prevent burnout and achieve peak performance

The science behind it

Comprehensive health questionnaires
Biomarkers from Saliva
Biomarkers from Urine
Advanced medical report
Personalised health plan
Ongoing follow-up
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A data-driven solution customised for your team needs

Akesio measures your stress biomarkers and build a personalised plan for your stress management
Biological markers
adrenal hormones + neurotransmitters
Health assessment
adrenal hormones + neurotransmitters
Heart rate variability
Stress dashboard
adrenal hormones + neurotransmitters
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For employee
For company
Akesio Offer
Individual report for each employee with personalised recommendations
Anonymised aggregated data (group report) giving insights on ‘fatigue”, “poor sleep”, ‘stress score”, “burnout risk” etc
Follow up with a ”stress baseline” and “ongoing recommendations”
Online Mindfulness programme
On-site workshops (about stress/performance/emotions regulations etc)
Referrals to our curated network or therapists and other specialist
Training for company’s managers to implement a “stress-free culture at work”

Why Akesio?

Integrated, data-driven approach
State-of-art laboratory tests
At-home convenience for busy employees
Personalised expert recommendations
Spotting early signs of burnout
Reports and follow ups
Training & development tools

Designed for best companies

Data driven approach to prevent burnout/ better cope with stress
The Akesio program improves your employees' well being
Wellness links to productivity improvement
Reducing absenteeism
Improving efficiency and creativity in your teams
State-of-art mindfulness program attracts top talent and retains existing one

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