In recent months, The Leader Board has touched on the issue of employees being unable to disconnect from work while on vacation. We’ve talked about how many United States workers aren’t guaranteed paid vacation time to begin with, and we’ve shared survey results showing a majority of American employees don’t use the vacation time they do have.
Now, here comes data that suggests U.S. workers are finding it harder and harder to even leave the office at all.
A recent survey from Milwaukee-based Right Management polled 325 employees, asking participants if workers in their organizations were working longer hours than five years ago. They said:
• Yes, a great deal (67 percent)
• Not really (23 percent)
• Yes, somewhat (10 percent)
So, a clear majority of the employees polled find themselves and their colleagues spending more time at the office.
And, according to Right, these workers are barely coming up for air while they’re there. Another Right survey saw 81 percent of 1,023 North American employees indicating they don’t typically take what they consider to be a proper lunch break at work. The grind doesn’t end after going home, either: A June 2013 poll from Right found more than one-third of 422 workers dealing with work-related emails outside of business hours.
Given the business climate of the past five years, these findings don’t come as a great shock. But they do help paint a picture of a frazzled workforce putting in more hours, dealing with more stress and perhaps becoming increasingly disgruntled as a result.
And that’s a picture that HR leaders—already battling to keep employee engagement levels high—probably don’t want to envision with a recovering economy (and job market) on the horizon.