58% of Canadian workers are stressed on a daily basis: survey

Canadian employees are stressed, and their bosses aren’t noticing.

In a survey of 400 Canadians who work in an office environment, 58 per cent reported feeling job-related stress on a daily basis, according to a survey by staffing agency Accountemps.

Even more respondents noted work-related stress has increased over the last five years. But executives aren’t on the same page: few chief financial officers recognized their teams are stressed (21 per cent) and that employees’ anxiety has increased (23 per cent).

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Younger employees are more likely to be stressed than their older colleagues: 60 per cent of those aged 18 to 34 reported feeling work-related anxiety, compared to 55 per cent of workers aged 55 and older. On the other, men and women are equally likely to be stressed (57 per cent and 58 per cent, respectively).

Top stressors include heavy workloads and tight deadlines (41 per cent), trying to establish work-life balance (22 per cent) and managers’ unrealistic expectations (17 per cent).

“As companies move quickly to keep pace with evolving business needs, employees are often left feeling overwhelmed by mounting workloads and looming deadlines,” Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps, said in a release. “Organizations must ensure workers feel supported by providing adequate tools and resources to help prioritize projects, without compromising work-life balance.”

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To help employees manage stress levels, managers should work with them one-on-one to prioritize their tasks and set realistic deadlines, Accountemps recommends. Managers should also encourage team members to use any wellness programs the company makes available and set a good example by using the tools themselves. They should also try to make the workplace fun, and organize social activities and staff celebrations.

“Executives should be conscious of the signs of burnout, like increased overtime or missed deadlines, which can lead to waning morale, lower productivity and high turnover,” said Hunnam-Jones. “Have regular check-ins with staff to review deadlines, pinpoint stressors and come up with ways to mitigate pressure while ensuring business goals are still met.”  

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