The New Workplace
Work Stress Hits Historic Levels
Employee stress levels around the world are at all-time highs, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report, and the problem is particularly acute for North American workers. The report found that 53% of American workers and 56% of Canadian workers said they experienced daily stress—compared to the global average of 44%.
Age and gender gaps
The U.S. and Canada combined have the highest regional percentage of female employees who experience high daily stress levels—with the figure hitting 57% for women compared to 48% for men. Broken down by age, 59% of workers under 40 reported daily stress compared to 46% of respondents aged 40 and above. The study also found that 55% of hybrid workers reported high levels of daily stress—compared to 53% for exclusively on-site and remote workers—perhaps due to less predictability about their work location.
Gallup reports that the key to reducing high stress levels, which impact worker’s wellbeing and performance, is employee engagement. It might sound counter-intuitive, but the pollster’s data show that employees who spend the most time working in the office are also the least engaged. According to Gallup, 38% of hybrid and fully remote employees reported feeling engaged—compared to 34% of remote-capable, on-site workers. Employee engagement is the highest among teams spending two to three days a week in the office.
According to Gallup, employees’ relationships with their managers are a much more important factor in determining employee engagement than whether they work in the office or at home. Its study found that 80% of employees who received meaningful feedback in the prior week were fully engaged—irrespective of how many days a week they worked on-site. That meaningful feedback can come in a weekly conversation of between 15 and 30 minutes that touches upon recognition, collaboration, goals, priorities, and strengths.
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