Work-life balance greatest workforce challenge

Most supervisors aren't supportive enough

A combination of powerful trends is pressuring employees at work, resulting in an imbalance in their family lives, which inevitably affects employees' mental health, according to a recent study released in honour of National Mental Health Week.

Employee assistance provider Human Solutions, surveyed more than 600 employees across Canada and found that workload and work-life balance is the number one workforce challenge facing employees.

An overwhelming majority of respondents, 76 per cent, rated their supervisors as ineffective or moderately effective in helping employees achieve work-life balance.

The ability to create a workplace where good work-life balance is fostered is important to the long-term success of the organization, said Judith Plotkin, national director of business development at Human Solutions.

"Our survey found that workers who agreed that they have a good balance between their work and personal or family life experience less stress than workers who lack this balance, regardless of other factors in their lives or the type of work performed," she said.

The report, Under Pressure: Implications of Work-Life Balance and Job Stress, found that it's work, not family, that makes it hard for employees to find a good work-life balance.

More than half (62 per cent) of employees said it was pressures at work that contributed to the work-life imbalance, while only 27 per cent said it was family or personal life pressures that mad the balance harder to achieve.

Employers that want to encourage a culture of work-life balance should develop workload awareness, provide creative, flexible or customized scheduling, and communicate in a clear and supportive manner.

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