This text is part of the special section Unionism
According to a recent survey, more than half of workers in the country (53%) express negative emotions about their jobs. In addition, around a third of them (30%) feel tired or overworked. A predictable, albeit worrying, situation, say human resources experts.
A heavy workload, or the perception of it as such, as well as a poor work-life balance remain the factors which most explain work-related stress, maintains Annie Boilard, president of the Annie RH Network, specialized In the working world.
“Microstressors, these situations that the brain does not identify as stressful and which accumulate, enormously affect the mental health of workers,” explains the woman who notably wrote an article entitled “Are you stressing well? 2 tips for better stress at work”, in the review Management from HEC Montreal.
Unlike the natural stress inherent to work, such as the imminent arrival of a deadline or an important business meeting, these often encroach on an individual’s personal life and remain underestimated in terms of their harmful effect. . “For example, when someone has finished their day and is about to leave work, they receive a text from their boss asking them to do a small task. Even if it is small, it inflates the perception of the workload,” she highlights, hence the importance of identifying microstressors.
Between galloping inflation and massive layoffs
The current economic context, marked in particular by an increase in the cost of living and a risk of recession, creates strong insecurity in terms of employability, indicates Nicolas Chevrier, psychologist specializing in professional burnout. “Job security for many workers is no longer as certain as before, because organizations are also experiencing great difficulties. We can no longer send a cover letter into the universe to hope for two or three jobs. We no longer have the same freedom,” illustrates the work psychologist.
Especially since the start of the year, numerous large-scale layoff plans have made the headlines, such as the waves of layoffs at the Meta group or the more recent one at the TVA Group. These fears of layoffs and the fragility of the work environment can lead employees to tolerate more dissatisfaction in the office, he suggests.
This is why, according to him, people probably take a job they don’t like in order to meet their financial obligations and for fear of remaining unemployed for too long afterwards.
However, doesn’t the labor shortage rather force the opposite, that is to say a certain power on the side of the employees since they are so essential and hard to find? “When we look at the figures under the microscope, we realize that the most popular employees, targeted by the labor shortage, are unqualified workers. Currently in Quebec, there are approximately three times more vacancies that do not require a university degree than people available for employment with this profile,” argues Annie Boilard.
Recharge your psychological batteries
“In my practice, I often see that the overflow of professional communication, that is to say the management of emails and text messages outside of office hours, enormously affects the people who consult me. We must divide the professional and the personal into two,” strongly suggests the professional burnout specialist to improve the sustainable performance of employees.
On the other hand, Annie Boilard underlines the importance for companies to adopt a proactive approach. For her, it is crucial to create a work environment that promotes open communication, flexibility, and to provide resources to help employees deal with stress. She emphasizes that employers must recognize that worker well-being is closely linked to overall business performance.
Interventions to reduce workload will have much better results than financial compensation, for example, since they are no longer sources of happiness at work, as numerous studies demonstrate. “There is certainly a certain minimum to receive. When this is exceeded and allows the individual to flourish, salary increases contribute to psychological well-being at work which lasts two to three weeks,” explains the president of the Annie RH Network.
However, the two experts remain optimistic about the situation, having observed a clear improvement among employers in terms of work-life balance in recent years. Indeed, companies recognize the importance of implementing preventive measures such as well-being programs at work, a disconnection policy or even training sessions on stress management.
This content was produced by the Special Publications team at Duty, relating to marketing. The writing of the Duty did not take part.