In a recent study published today by the UK mental health charity Mind, 26 percent of workers surveyed said they felt anxiety and dread the day before they were supposed to go back to work or after a weekend off, as reported in The Observer.
Nicknamed the “Sunday Blues,” these pressures are mainly attributed to the economic climate, and include irregular sleep patterns, high rates of illness and reports of extensive low morale.
From the article:
High rates of unpaid overtime were recorded, and almost all the people questioned were unhappy with their work-life balances. Tough times in the workplace, where people are living with the constant fear of redundancy and often taking on extra duties because of a recession-reduced workforce and companies downsizing, could mean years of uncertainty for workers.
Mind, which commissioned the study in part to encourage employers to improve working conditions for employees, wants companies to make supporting employees a priority. The percentage of those reporting leaving a job due to stress rose from 6 percent in 2004 to 8 percent in 2009, and those who say they lack support from their managers increased from 8 to 11 percent.
Mind’s chief executive, Paul Farmer, said:
Considering how much time we spend at work, it is hardly surprising it can have a huge impact on our mental wellbeing. Working conditions have been incredibly tough and the emotional fallout of the recession doesn’t just center on people who have lost their jobs, but on people who are struggling to cope with the extra demands of working harder, longer hours and under more pressure as their employers battle for survival.
Corporate Voices for Working Families believes that a good work-life balance is critically important. Not only is it important for workers and families, but having policies that encourage employee loyalty and engagement make good business sense—it contributes to lower turnover, higher productivity, and better products and services.
To that end, Corporate Voices published a guide for workplace flexibility policies targeted for both and employees. The guide helps managers understand the business benefits of workplace flexibility, and how to create a sustainable program. Workplace flexibility policies help workers juggling many work and life obligations be able to better manage them without sacrificing the quality of their work.
Please feel free to use our toolkits, guides and resources on workplace flexibility!