Canadians struggle with disconnecting after regular work hours: Mental Health Index

LifeWorks released its latest Mental Health Index, which reveals that 28 per cent of Canadians are experiencing challenges disconnecting after regular work hours. According to its findings, this group displayed a mental health score nearly nine points below the national average.Additionally, more than two-in-five Canadians report ending their workday feeling mentally and/or physically exhausted. This month’s report found that Canadian workers are still under strain with a mental health score lower than the pre-pandemic benchmark of 0.0 for the 24th consecutive month. The Mental Health Index score for March 2022 is -10.5, a slight improvement from February’s score of -10.6. 

The Mental Health Index further states that many Canadian workers are experiencing burnout, leading to lack of concentration and motivation.

“Concerns regarding disconnecting from work are not new, however, work from home and hybrid work have brought the concern to a new level. Employers are starting to realize that the mental health impact of pandemic disruption will be with us for quite some time. As the worksite is now overlapped with home, the benefits of flexibility can easily be countered by lack of separation from work,” says president and chief executive officer, Stephen Liptrap.

Twenty-seven per cent of Canadians find it increasingly difficult to concentrate on their work. This group has a mental health score of -29.1, nearly 19 points below the national average.

Thirty-five per cent of Canadians find it increasingly difficult to be motivated to do their work. This group has a mental health score of -25.4, nearly 15 points below the national average.

Of the 28 per cent of Canadians who are unable to disconnect after regular work hours, one-quarter (25 per cent) report that this is due to their manager continuing to contact them.

Forty-two per cent of Canadians report ending their workday feeling mentally and/or physically exhausted. This group has a mental health score of -23.6, 13 points below the national average.

Respondents younger than 40 are 70 per cent more likely to be unable to disconnect after regular work hours than those older than 50. 

“The indications of burnout could not be any clearer. This is an issue for health, productivity, engagement and retention. Motivation decreases with burnout, not because people no longer care about their work, but because they lack the energy to engage fully. In many cases we are also seeing another indicator of burnout, which is increased cynicism and conflict. This is a significant risk for organizational culture and productivity. The solutions need to address the burnout itself with appropriate services and require employers to understand the conditions creating burnout for their employees,” says global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen.  

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