While many employers promote work-life balance, 25 per cent of Canadians have left a job due to stress and 17 per cent have considered making an exit, according to a new survey by Monster Canada.

The online recruiter, which polled more than 1,000 working Canadians, found 58 per cent said they’re overworked. Two-thirds (65 per cent) agreed their employer supports work-life balance — though those who have left their jobs were more likely to disagree with that statement.

Read: How can employers encourage employees to take vacation?

“While employers support and offer work-life balance initiatives to their staff, employees may not feel encouraged to take advantage of them,” said Angela Payne, general manager at Monster Canada, in a news release. “Establishing and growing relationships between managers and workers can help ensure that the most suitable programs are being offered and used.”

The survey also found Canadians earning less than $40,000 (38 per cent) and between $40,000 and $59,000 (27 per cent) are more likely to have left a job due to stress.

This suggests employers should be thinking of lower-income earners when they’re building their retention efforts and trying to reduce stress in the workplace, noted Payne. “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.”

Read: What resources can employers use to assess employee well-being?

Nearly one-third of respondents said their workload was a major stressor, while 20 per cent cited office politics for workplace stress. As well, employees in Quebec (64 per cent) and Ontario (61 per cent) are more likely to say they’re overworked than those in Western Canada (41 per cent).

Employers should make efforts to tackle stress because it leads to lower productivity and reduced staff retention, said Payne. “As we know, stress comes in all shapes and sizes at work. 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.”

Read: Fostering workplace friendships key to engagement at B.C. company

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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