In today’s fast-paced and increasingly technological society, Americans are statistically working harder and putting in longer hours—but at a cost. It appears ‘driven’ just might become the new ‘stressed,’ as many struggle to find work-life balance while their health and on-the-job productivity suffer as a result. If your employees are suffering from burnout, learn why—and how collaborative technologies can help.
Today’s Stressed Out Workforce, By The Numbers
You may have heard chatter in the office about how stressed your employees feel—or may even feel yourself—but the hard and fast data surrounding the plight of the overworked in this country is downright disconcerting. The most recent Gallup poll on American work habits found that U.S. employees work an average of 47 hours per week, and almost 40 percent grind for 50 hours or more.
Here’s another way to look at it: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that daily, the average person aged 24 to 54 with children spends 8.9 hours per day on work and related activities, leaving little time to care for others (1.2 hours) or engage in household activities (1 hour). For many, it appears ‘life’ has been removed from ‘work-life balance.’
The Effect of Stress On Productivity and Performance
A study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that 29 percent of Americans are “quite a bit or extremely stressed at work” while a substantial 40 percent say their position is “very or extremely stressful.” An abundance of stress can lead to poor employee physical and mental health as well as an increase in turnover, absenteeism, and poor performance.
Whose Problem Is It?
For parents of small children, expecting mothers or caretakers of elders, some companies have tried to lessen the work-life burden by offering programs that include extended leave. This mentality has yet to become the norm, though, and many employees (not all, by any means) struggle to juggle being both caretakers and moneymakers.
So whose problem is it? It’s not a female or a male problem, nor is it restricted only to millennials or boomers—it’s a workplace culture problem, and it’s been widely acknowledged. The New York Times, for example, has dubbed today’s office environment as “a toxic work world” for employees. The good news about the ‘work world’ today, though, is that it is evolving into a space that’s much more flexible thanks to video collaboration tools and the ultimate accessibility afforded by mobile devices.
Are Remote Workers Changing The Game?
The business world is changing as more technologies emerge, and that’s good news for employees who have the opportunity to telecommute. The number of remote workers is on the rise, in fact, with 37 percent of American workers reporting they’ve telecommuted in the last year. At last count, the average person logs in remotely two days per month.
Working remotely has its unique set of challenges, of course: Some struggle to “unplug” because they’re always connected, and others miss the social interaction that accompanies an office environment. For a large percentage of people, however, working remotely offers unparalleled flexibility and control. Video collaboration tools make checking-in and attending virtual meetings relatively seamless, so employees can experience increased productivity and on-the-job satisfaction without the commuting hassle or expense.
In the end, whether working remotely or in an office, employees should focus on working smarter, not longer. Working smarter, not longer can be a difficult task in such a connected culture—but it’s a step worth taking to reduce the epidemic of stress in working environments today.
At Advanced AV we empower live meetings and remote collaboration by deploying the technology that helps your organization connect, communicate and engage with its customers, employees and stakeholders. Connect with us to find out more about how Advanced AV can help you achieve your business and technology goals.