Workers in the United States, as well as Canada, reported the highest rate of daily stress in the world last year, a new Gallup survey found.
Gallup's World Poll calculated increases in daily stress, worry, sadness and anger among workers, with surveyors reporting 62% of female workers in the United States and Canada say they experienced stress a lot of the day, compared with 52% of male workers.
The survey also found that 57% of U.S. and Canadian workers reported feeling stress on a daily basis, up by eight percentage points from the year prior and compared with 43% of people who feel that way globally.
According to Gallup, high stress among working women is nearly universal across the globe.
“The higher levels of reported daily stress seem to match reports elsewhere that working women, who typically shoulder most of the childcare and other household and elder care burdens, were very stressed during 2020 when many schools were closed or remote,” the pollsters wrote.
Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief workplace scientist, told CNBC that rates of daily stress, worry, sadness and anger have been trending upward for American workers since 2009. Concerns over the virus, sickness, financial insecurity and racial trauma all contributed to added stress during the pandemic.
By contrast, the daily stress levels for women in Western Europe went down in the last year, which researchers attribute to social safety nets for parents and workers to prevent unemployment, CNBC reported.
And while employee engagement dipped in the rest of the world, it rose to 34% in the United States.
Harter told the news outlet the correlation of higher engagement but also higher stress can result in burnout and mental health challenges and indicates “the intersection of work and life needs some work.”
The Gallup survey also found that:
- 64% of workers under 40 said they experienced stress a lot of the day the previous day, compared with 51% of those 40 and older.
- Two-thirds of American workers and eight in 10 Canadians are either watching the clock, doing the bare minimum to get a paycheck, or worse, actively working against their employer.
- Of engaged and thriving employees, 44% experience stress a lot of the day, compared with 63% who are engaged but not thriving, and 70% who are not engaged and not thriving.
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