SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Bridge by Instructure, Inc. (NYSE: INST), a talent management software suite for businesses, revealed that unspoken workplace expectations often pressure employees to adopt a less-balanced lifestyle as a way to progress in their careers. In addition, employers may not be providing the right tools or atmosphere to help employees achieve the work-life balance for full productivity and engagement.
Notably, the research, which comes from Bridge's recent national survey of more than 1,000 office employees, showed that 78 percent of respondents believe working more hours is at least moderately important in getting promoted. And more than half of employees believe engaging in workplace politics is an important factor in receiving a promotion. Even 43 percent reported that acting interested in their "boss's dumb story" is at least moderately important.
Companies also contribute to employee burnout through unwritten policies. Only one-third of respondents are encouraged by their employer to take paid time off (PTO), and only 11 percent are encouraged to take mental health days as a way to use sick time.
"Because of today's workplace atmosphere, many employees aren't able to fully disconnect after traditional work hours and feel they need to work more in order to advance. Our survey finds this type of culture can decrease workforce productivity and significantly impact profitability," said Matt Bingham, VP of product for Bridge by Instructure. "The study underscores an opportunity for employers to promote greater work-life balance and establish a more frequent feedback loop with employees to help them reach their career aspirations."
The Costs of Distraction
The survey found that on average, employees spend up to 77 minutes per day watching non-work-related TV or online videos while at work. Calculating that with the average hourly wage from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, companies can lose more than $8,800 per year for each employee. At a company with 5,000 employees, this number could grow to be more than $44 million per year.
Regular check-ins with managers are a rarity as demands on time fill schedules along the entire corporate ladder. Twenty-five percent of respondents have one-on-one meetings with their managers biannually or less. In addition, 16 percent of employees have made something up or embellished facts on performance reviews because they knew their boss wouldn't know the difference.
Most Popular Hacks & Habits for Workplace Relief
The survey results also revealed some of the popular hacks and habits employees develop to cope with workplace stress and burnout:
- Employees may turn to substances as part of the way they manage stressors in the office. According to the survey, the most popular substance employees use to deal with stress is caffeine (34 percent), followed by sugar, alcohol, anti-anxiety medications, and sleeping pills.
- Employees also devise healthier coping mechanisms to handle work anxiety. The survey found many turn to yoga, exercise or meditation (30 percent) to alleviate workplace stress. Others deliberately disconnect; 44 percent leave their computers off or at work to give them peace during off-duty hours, while 21 percent leave their work devices in other rooms at home.
In response to the survey findings, Bridge by Instructure also offered the following strategies to deal with workplace stress:
- Be proactive with managers and leaders. Employees should communicate with managers about their needs and career goals. This will help reduce stress and help them achieve greater job satisfaction. It will also help managers fulfill responsibilities.
- Stand up, exercise and move. Medical science is clear that moving, standing and exercising is beneficial for physical and mental health. Aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes along with regular standing and moving throughout the day will reduce stress.
- Disconnect every day. Many jobs have 24/7 busy cycles, so employees can reduce stress by picking a time each day to switch off the phone, put away the laptop and uncouple from the stress of the day. This will reduce stress and increase productivity during work hours.
- Utilize PTO and sick time. Employees often feel pressured to avoid vacation time and never call in sick, but work absences boost productivity and engagement when employees return. Smart employers are recognizing the need to get away sometimes.
- Get plenty of sleep. Skimping on sleep interferes with focus and creativity, reduces problem-solving skills and brings down overall productivity. Good sleep habits will also help employees deal with workplace stress.
In September 2017, Bridge by Instructure used online survey provider Qualtrics to survey more than 1,000 office employees at U.S.-based companies with more than 250 employees regarding their thoughts on their workplace habits, workplace culture and overall employee engagement. Bridge learned about what types of hacks and habits employees use to combat stress at work, how productive they are while at work and how well their companies encourage work-life balance.
To learn more about the study, visit www.GetBridge.com.
Bridge is an innovative, outcome-focused talent management platform for businesses. Bridge helps organizations elevate their people, their careers and the company with customer-driven solutions—so managers can grow and retain a happier workforce.
That is accomplished by developing software that promotes forward-thinking strategies, actionable analytics, and employee and leader development. Bridge supports continuous innovation and offers white-glove customer service, enabling companies to achieve desired outcomes (like happier, well-trained employees).
Invest in your employees and your company. Bridge is the talent management platform that understands that people matter most. Learn more at www.GetBridge.com.
Instructure, Inc. is a leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology company that makes software that makes people smarter. With a vision to help maximize the potential of people through technology, Instructure created Canvas, Gauge, Arc and Bridge to enable organizations everywhere to easily develop, deliver and manage engaging face-to-face and online learning experiences. To date, Instructure has connected millions of instructors and learners at more than 3,000 educational institutions and corporations throughout the world. Learn more about Canvas for higher ed and K–12, and Bridge for the corporate market, at www.Instructure.com.
Senior Director, Public Relations