Seven in 10 employees report increased work stress: Survey

Many CFOs unaware of rising worker stress levels
||Last Updated: 02/02/2017

More than half (58 per cent) of Canadian workers said they are stressed at work on a day-to-day basis, and 70 per cent report work-related pressure has increased in the last five years, according to a survey by staffing firm Accountemps.

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

Only 21 per cent of the more than 270 Canadian CFOs surveyed acknowledged their teams are stressed, and only 23 per cent recognized an increase in worker anxiety. Employees polled cited heavy workloads and looming deadlines (41 per cent), attaining work-life balance (22 per cent), and the unrealistic expectations of managers (17 per cent) as top worries, found the survey of more than 400 workers.

"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." 

Accountemps offered the following tips for managers:

Help prioritize: Meet with team members individually to help prioritize workloads and set realistic expectations about project deadlines and desired outcomes. If there is too much work to go around, bring in temporary professionals to lighten the workload for full-time employees.

Offer resources: Encourage your team to take advantage of stress-management webinars, wellness tips or programs, and yoga or meditation classes available to them. Set a good example by using these offerings, as well as employee breakrooms or lounges.

Make it fun: The job may be serious, but laughter and camaraderie can lead to greater work satisfaction and happiness. Look for ways to lighten the mood through social activities, staff celebrations or office decorations.

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