Majority of workers say stress is making them sick: Survey

One-fifth of workers are connected to work at all times

Today’s fast-paced, connected society makes it near impossible for Canadians to power-down and take time for themselves, according to a new survey.

Travel website Tripharbour.ca surveyed 1,514 full-time working Canadians and found that one in five are "always connected" to work and 82 per cent feel that work-related stress is negatively affecting their health.

"Email, cellphones and mobile devices have made us accessible at every hour, and it actually leads to a lack of productivity in the workplace," said Stuart MacDonald, founder and CEO of Tripharbour.ca.

While eight in 10 Canadians claim that they work to live and prefer to leave work at work, the fact remains that 21 per cent of respondents said they are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The survey found women are more likely than men to power-down right at 5 p.m. (51 per cent versus 37 per cent). Men are also more likely to check their portable devices during their down time, with 23 per cent of men saying they take these devices with them on vacation.

Results by region

Alberta

• Forty-five per cent of Albertans enjoy their jobs and the majority of respondents (81 per cent) agree that work should stay at work.

• When compared to the rest of the country, more Albertans keep their cellphone/mobile device on and with them when on vacation (26 per cent) with 19 per cent (also the highest in the country) checking in at the office periodically.

• Forty-four per cent of Albertans have difficultly achieving work-life balance at the expense of their personal lives – compared to the national average of 36 per cent.

Atlantic

• The majority of respondents (62 per cent) from the Atlantic region don’t enjoy their work.

• Not surprisingly, when Atlantic respondents were asked if work-related stress was impacting their health, 64 per cent agreed.

British Columbia

• The majority of British Columbian respondents (59 per cent) typically power-down after 7:00 p.m.

• Forty-seven per cent of British Columbians agree (highest in the country alongside Saskatchewan/Manitoba) that work is beyond just paying the bills – they actually enjoy what they do.

• Most British Columbian residents (81 per cent) agree that leaving work at work is important.

• The majority of people from British Columbia (66 per cent) know the value of vacation – they unplug completely when they are away on holidays.

Ontario

• Consistent with the national average, 21 per cent of Ontarians admit that they never power-down.

• Seventy-nine per cent of Ontarians surveyed say they work to live, and prefer to leave work at work.

• When on vacation, 18 per cent of Ontarians keep their mobile devices on and with them, and 16 per cent check in at the office periodically.

Saskatchewan/Manitoba

• Compared to the rest of Canada, respondents from Saskatchewan and Manitoba (13 per cent) are least likely to believe that work-related stress is impacting their health.

• Twenty-four per cent of Saskatchewan/Manitoba respondents are always connected to their work.

• Saskatchewan/Manitoba respondents (70 per cent) are most likely (behind Quebec) to unplug completely when on vacation. In addition, 17 per cent (lowest in the country) said that they keep their cell/mobile device on and with them when on vacation.

Quebec

• Quebecers have difficulty achieving work-life balance but feel that their career suffers as a result (83 per cent – the highest in Canada) more so than their personal life (66 per cent).

• When it comes to vacations, 74 per cent (highest in Canada) of Quebec respondents unplug completely with only 4 per cent checking in at the office periodically.

• It is not surprising then, that 13 per cent (lowest in Canada) of Quebecers do not believe that work-related stress is impacting their health.

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