NSC Business and Industry Division news Research/studies Worker health and wellness Leadership Worker Health and Wellness

Executives say workers are doing well. Workers say otherwise


Photo: fatido/iStockphoto

New York — Results of a recent survey reveal a sizeable gap between how C-suite executives perceive workers’ well-being and how workers actually feel.

For Deloitte’s second annual Well-Being at Work Survey, researchers surveyed nearly 3,200 C-suite execs, managers and employees across four countries – the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia – in March. All respondents worked full time and ranged in age from 18 to 76.

Among the employees, 25% said their mental health had worsened in the past year, while 23% said their physical well-being had declined.

In contrast, only 3% of the C-suite execs said workers’ physical and mental well-being had gotten worse in the past year.

Negative emotions and fatigue were common among the workers. Around half said they “always” or “often” feel exhausted or stressed, while others reported feelings of being overwhelmed (43%), irritable (34%), lonely (33%), depressed (32%) or angry (27%). Nearly 3 out of 4 find it difficult to take time off or disconnect from their jobs.

Other findings:

  • 40% of the respondents said their job negatively affects their mental health, while a third said it has an adverse effect on their physical health.
  • Heavy workload, a stressful job and long work hours were the most commonly cited obstacles to improved well-being.
  • 84% of the respondents said improving their well-being is a top priority this year, with 74% indicating it’s more important than career advancement.

A report detailing the survey results notes that executives have the opportunity to “rewrite this story” by taking accountability for their workforces’ health and well-being, along with empowering managers to have a direct impact on the issues. 

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