Downsized staffs paired with increased workloads may be causing a rise in stress levels around the workplace. According to a CareerBuilder.com survey of more than 7,600 workers nationwide, 78 percent reported feeling burned out at work.
Forty-six percent of workers said their workload has increased over the last six months and approximately the same percentage (45 percent) describe their current workload as heavy or too heavy. Close to a quarter (23 percent) of workers report they are dissatisfied with their current work/life balance.
More than half (54 percent) of workers said their companies offer some sort of flexible work arrangements to help manage stress levels and work/life balance and two-thirds indicated that they take advantage of at least one of the programs offered. When asked which benefits they take part in the most, workers said:
1. Alternative schedules (72 percent) 2. Compressed work weeks (24 percent) 3. Telecommuting (15 percent) 4. Summer hours (14 percent) 5. Job sharing (6 percent)
"Unmanageable stress levels in the workplace can seriously impact an employee's productivity and home-life," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.com. "Employers today are being much more proactive in offering a variety of programs that promote a healthy work/life balance, and companies and workers alike are reaping the benefits. Sixty-one percent of workers said taking advantage of flexible work arrangements has made them more productive and 21 percent said it actually improved their career progress."
While flexible work arrangements may not work for every industry or position, Haefner offers the following tips for making the case to the boss or supervisor:
* Contact your HR department and inquire about flexible benefits -- they may suggest options that you didn't know were even available.
* Sell your boss on the idea -- consider writing a small business plan, highlighting contributions you've made in your position and the benefits to you and the company.
If flexible schedules are not an option, workers still need to take steps to reduce the burn out they are experiencing. Haefner offers the following advice:
* Learn to say no. Reduce your commitments both at work and home. Manage timeline expectations for customer or colleagues when multiple projects come up simultaneously.
* Get organized. Create a checklist of things that need to be addressed for that day and focus on those tasks only.
* Reevaluate your goals with your boss or supervisor to identify priorities and where your energy should be focused.
* Get plenty of rest, eat a healthy diet and remember to exercise. Working out can significantly reduce stress levels.
* Finally, give yourself a break. This means taking your vacation days, no matter how important you job is, and taking little breaks every day to re-group, re-energize and unwind. Stepping away from your desk and taking a 15-minute walk during the workday can do wonders.
The surveys were conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive(R) on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among US employees (employed full-time; not self-employed). Data related to perceptions about workload was pulled from a CareerBuilder study among 8,785 employees between May 22 and June 13, 2008. All other data points pulled from a CareerBuilder study among 7,688 US employees between February 11 and March 13, 2008. Percentages for some questions are based on a subset of responses to certain questions. With a pure probability sample of 8,785 and 7,688 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.0 percentage points and +/- 1.1 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
CareerBuilder.com is the nation's largest online job site with more than 23 million unique visitors and over 1.6 million jobs. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc.
Media Contact: Michael Erwin 773-527-3637
First Call Analyst:
CONTACT: Michael Erwin of CareerBuilder.com, +1-773-527-3637,
Web site: http://www.careerbuilder.com/