Workers are stressed because they won't take vacation or breaks
- A new CareerBuilder study provided to HR Dive via email shows that most workers (61%) are burned out in their jobs, although 33% don't take time away from work to decompress. Harris Poll surveyed 3,215 full-time , non-government employees on behalf of CareerBuilder.
- Among the workers who do take time off, one in three stay connected to the office while they're away. In 2016, one in five respondents had unused vacation time. Women reported higher stress levels than men, while vice presidents and other senior staff reported the lowest stress levels.
- The study identified stress symptoms, the top five of which are: constant fatigue (29%); sleeplessness (26%); aches and pains (24%); high anxiety (23%) and weight gain (18%).
A Paychex study found that 80% of its respondents were stressed out about not having enough work-life balance. Part of solving that involves encouraging unplugged vacation time — essentially, letting employees know that they are allowed to fully take the time off to recharge. Employees may be reticent about this if they feel their fellow employees will look down on them for leaving.
Another Gallup Poll found that stress is driving many employees to leave their jobs. This should cause employers concern. A mass exodus would force employers to replace workers at a time when finding skilled workers is a major priority.
Money problems and debt are major stressors for workers, studies show. Some employers offer wellness programs with financial and emotional well-being components. Other employers have added debt-reduction plans to their benefit offerings.
Employers should train managers to recognize stress without diagnosing particular conditions. They can spot stress-related outcomes, such as frequent absenteeism and lateness, lower productivity, deteriorating relationships with workers and irritability. Employers can help workers handle stress by reducing workloads, encouraging work breaks, discouraging constant office connectivity and promoting participation in wellness programs.