Feeling Stressed and Overworked? Survey Reveals You Are Not Alone

Many working professionals are likely to experience stress at some point in their career, but for some, there is a breaking point.

A recent survey from Monster Canada found that one-in-four working Canadians has left a job due to stress and 17 per cent have considered it. Overall, six-in-ten (58 per cent) of working Canadians say that they are overworked.

“Working Canadians are under a lot of pressure on the job—this, coupled with personal commitments and a desire to advance professionally, may be creating a heightened sense of stress at work,” says Angela Payne, general manager for Monster Canada. “For employers, this can lead to a worrying combination of decreased productivity and reduced staff retention.”

Earning Less Equals More Stress?
The survey, conducted by Leger, also found that Canadians earning less than $40K are the most likely to say they have left a job due to stress (38 per cent). Those in the next earning bracket, $40K-$59K, have also said goodbye to an employer due to overwhelming job stress (27 per cent).

“For those starting out in their careers, saying yes to opportunities can be second nature—but the work can add up fast, which may impact stress levels,” says Payne. “These findings suggest that employers should consider focussing more retention efforts on employees making under $40K since they may be prone to excessive job stress.”

Overworked From Coast-to-Coast?
Interestingly, the survey also found that those working on the West Coast are the least likely to say they’re overworked (41 per cent). However, this comes after a Monster Canada poll that found British Columbian workers are the most likely to be unmotivated (27 per cent, compared to 22 per cent nationally).

At the high point of the scale, employees in Quebec are the most likely to say they’re overworked (64 per cent), followed by Ontarians at 61 per cent.

Despite being the least overworked, working British Columbians are slightly more likely than the average Canadian to say that they have left their job due to work stress (27 per cent vs. the national average of 25 per cent).

Balancing Work and Life
Despite the many working Canadians who report feeling overworked, nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) agree that their employer supports work-life balance. Moreover, those with children under 18 are more likely to indicate their employers support work-life balance (71 per cent with children under 18, compared to 61 per cent without).

The data also indicates that Canadians who have left work due to stress are significantly more likely to disagree that their employer supports work-life balance.

“While employers support and offer work-life balance initiatives to their staff, employees may not feel encouraged to take advantage of them,” says Payne. “Establishing and growing relationships between managers and workers can help ensure that the most suitable programs are being offered and used.”

Carrying the Workload
When asked what the most stressful part of their job is, nearly one-third of Canadians indicated workload/being overworked. This compares to a recent Monster poll in the U.S., which found navigating office politics to be the top source of stress (25 per cent). In Canada, only 20 per cent of working Canadians found navigating office politics most stressful.

Quebec workers were the most likely to report their workload as being the main source of stress (36 per cent), followed by Ontarians (34 per cent)—and while those working on the West Coast were least likely to report stress because of workload, they were most likely to find navigating office politics stressful (28 per cent).

“As we know, stress comes in all shapes and sizes at work,” says Payne. “To avoid the possibility of employees seeking greener pastures elsewhere, when possible, employers should consider taking steps to establish more sustainable workloads for employees, and consider employee engagement programs that keep motivation high during busy times.”

Monster Worldwide, Inc. is a global leader in connecting people to jobs, wherever they are. For more than 20 years, Monster has helped people improve their lives with better jobs, and employers find the best talent.

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