Canadians work too much and without a safety net

Workload, performance demands and lack of support are top sources of workplace stress, according to the Mental Health Index report released in June 2022 by LifeWorks. This is a monthly survey of 3,000 Canadian workers.

Participants who attribute their main source of stress to work are as numerous as those who attribute it to their personal life: 26% attribute it to work and 26% to their personal life.

The increased pressure workers are under is reflected in the index: it is down for the first time after four months of improvement. The index thus stood at 64.1 points out of 100 in June 2022, while it stood at 64.9 points in May.

A quarter of Canadians who attribute their main source of stress to work believe that the volume of work causes them the most stress. 14% say that performance demands are their biggest source of stress, and 12% say that the lack of support causes them the most stress.

Among those whose personal life is the main source of stress, 31% say they experience problems sleeping, 28% find it difficult to relax, and 27% experience emotional changes such as anxiety and depression.

win to support

A total of 74% of working Canadians feel the effects of work or personal stress, according to the index. Employers did not sit idly by. According to Index survey participants, 44% of employers offered flexible work arrangements to support the mental health of their employees.

Those who agree that the employer has supported mental wellness during the pandemic have a mental health score more than 7 points higher than the national average. Their score is almost 15 points higher than that of participants who did not feel that their employer supported their mental health.

“The data is clear, employees who believe their employer supports their mental health do better. Work holds an important place in our lives, and the support that employers can offer helps people to overcome all the difficulties, personal as well as professional”, believes Paula AllenGlobal Director and Senior Vice President, Research and Global Wellness at LifeWorks.

Work and personal life inseparable

Ms. Allen believes that support needs to happen on two levels. “First, through work experience, that is, by offering a flexible organizational framework that also promotes psychological security and a sense of belonging. Second, by providing access to and awareness of resources, including an employee and family assistance program, but also related programs and other benefits. Both forms of support are essential. »

Stephen Liptrap

President and CEO of LifeWorks, Stephen Liptrap observes that the focus is on problems at work, while personal difficulties affect people just as much.

Not at the end of our sorrows

“Although many organizations have begun to return to a semblance of normality in recent months, it is clear that our troubles are not yet over,” adds Mr. Liptrap.

He recalls that the collective mental health score for June is the lowest since January. According to him, this is a sign “that we need to pursue the conversations around employee well-being and support more vigorously, instead of losing interest in them”.

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