Half of Canadians feel fatigued at end of workday: report

New data sheds light on the impact burnout and stress is having on your teams

Half of Canadians feel fatigued at end of workday: report

Work is taking its toll on employees – even when their day is done. Nearly half (49%) of Canadians currently employed full time say they feel fatigued at the end of a regular workday, according to data from Research Co.

This stress and fatigue offsets a lot of physical ailments, including:

  • Back pain (36%)
  • Trouble sleeping (33%)
  • Stressed-out eyes (30%)
  • Headaches (28%)
  • Neck pain (28%)

Previous research from Cisco found that 81% of knowledge professionals and executives experience physical ailments at the end of each day after long video meetings.

Mental stress

Work is also instigating a lot of mental stress for workers, according to the report. Just under two-thirds (64%) describe their position as “very stressful” or “moderately stressful”, and 33% have felt depressed because of work.

Many have had to make sacrifices just to meet work demands in the past year:

  • 44% had to work through lunch
  • 35% had to take on more work responsibilities without a pay raise
  • 29% had to work on a project or task on a weekend or holiday
  • 28% had to work on a project or task after hours from home
  • 20% postponed vacation due to work obligations

“Female full time employees in Canada are more likely to report having to do more at their workplace without the benefit of a larger paycheque (44%) than their male counterparts (27%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Women are also more likely to feel dejected by work (41%) than men (25%).”

And, on top of all this, workers simply don’t feel appreciated enough.

Not appreciated

Just over two thirds of full-time employees in Canada (68%) think the company they work for appreciates the effort they put into their job - but just three-in-five (61%) think their employer cares for their health and wellbeing. While 55% of full-time employees in Canada believe the company they work for pays them what they deserve, 41% disagree.

Women (49%), full-time employees aged 35-to-54 (45%), Ontarians (also 45%) and those in the middle-income bracket (46%) are more likely to believe that they are not getting paid what they deserve.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of Canadian workers said they were less satisfied with their jobs since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a previous study.

Providing support

There are several measures employers can implement to address growing workplace fatigue and stress, according to both the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These include:

  • Examine staffing issues such as workload, work hours, understaffing and worker absences, scheduled and unscheduled, which can contribute to worker fatigue.
  • Develop administrative practices such as maximum hours of service, appropriate shift rotation, extended workdays, reducing or eliminating the need to do high risk activities between certain hours.
  • Arrange schedules to allow frequent opportunities for rest breaks and nighttime sleep.
  • Provide worker education and training addressing the hazards of worker fatigue, the symptoms of worker fatigue, the impact of fatigue on health and relationships, adequate quality and quantity of sleep and the importance of diet, exercise and stress management strategies to minimize the adverse effects of fatigue.
  • Provide lodging or areas to rest or sleep, where appropriate and necessary.

On average, studies say people need at least seven to nine hours of sleep every day, according to CCOHS. However, studies have also reported that most night shift workers get about five to seven hours less sleep per week than the day shift.

“Humans follow an ‘internal’ or ‘biological clock’ cycle of sleep, wakefulness, and alertness” says CCOHS. “Although these circadian rhythms are influenced by external clues such as the sun setting and rising, it is the brain that sets your pattern. Most cycles are 23-25 hours long and there are natural dips or periods when you feel tired or less alert - even for those who are well-rested.”

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