Colleagues out of the office? The average American’s workload increases by nearly a third when covering for a coworker, according to new research.Colleagues out of the office? The average American’s workload increases by nearly a third when covering for a coworker, according to new research.
A new study into the daily stressful events Americans encounter found that going on an innocent vacation may be stressing out your coworkers more than you imagined.
The research examined the impact upon workloads and subsequent stress levels when having to maintain your regular work and cover that of an absent coworker- 41 percent said they do even more than the average increase – for no extra pay.
The new survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of cannabis telemedicine and delivery platform Nugg, asked 2,000 employed Americans to assess the “cover crunch” they’re under when looking after an out-of-office coworker’s responsibilities.
The results showed that over half of Americans surveyed (53 percent) find covering for a coworker to be a significantly stressful event.
Leaving your projects and office responsibilities to a coworker while you take a few days off to go on a nice vacation may also lead to some bitterness. According to the results, 37 percent said they’ve felt resentment towards a coworker for having to cover their work while they’re out of the office.
The quality of work may suffer as a result, too, with 40 percent of survey respondents admitting they’ve phoned it in when covering for a coworker and didn’t care if the job was done well or not.
Interestingly, one in five respondents (21 percent) said that the coworker who usually ends up covering for them make less money than them.
Which sparks the question: should people get paid more when covering for a coworker? Over half of Americans we surveyed agree they should (51 percent), with 22 percent saying they “strongly” agree.
But there’s no joy on either side of this problem, apparently, as 56 percent of respondents say they feel guilty whenever they’re responsibilities fall to a coworker.
It also takes the average American five full days off from work to actually start to relax and unwind from the day-to-day stressors of their job -- and only two-and-a-half days back at work for all that job-related anxiety to resurface.
Some companies are becoming more empathetic to their employees’ mental well-being - they’re encouraging more downtime and valuing productivity over hours in the office. Nugg, an LA-based cannabis company that connects medical marijuana patients with licensed dispensaries, allows remote working and flexible hours and encourages candor around health.
Said Nugg’s Chief Marketing Officer, Alex Milligan: “This research confirms what most of us already know -- modern work culture can be stressful and harmful to employee health. Nugg promotes a culture where employees can take breaks when they need to -- we don’t track vacation days or hours worked. People take time when they need to and support each other.”
The survey also went on to reveal the biggest everyday stressors we experience, and found that the average American surveyed endures four hours and 14 minutes of stress each and every day.
Freezing laptops and computers emerged as the biggest daily stressor (48 percent), with slow Wi-Fi (45 percent), and screaming kids (38 percent) rounding out the top three.
Other big stressors included misplacing your phone (35 percent), being late for something (35 percent), and even coworkers getting on your nerves (33 percent).
The research showed that this stress finds ways to manifest itself, too.
For instance, quality of sleep can start to suffer as a result of added stress, say 52 percent of respondents. Another 41 percent said they become more absent-minded when stress is piled on, while over a third (35 percent) said they begin eating less healthy.
“We’ve seen that when team members have time and space to decompress, you ultimately get better performance over the long run,” said Alex Milligan. “No one can perform at their best if the don’t have time for their loved ones, good sleep, and healthy eating habits.”
TOP 40 MOST COMMON DAILY STRESSES
Your laptop/computer freezing 48%
Slow Wi-Fi 45% Screaming kids 38%
Misplacing your wallet 37%
Being late for something 35%
Misplacing your phone 35%
Annoying coworkers 33%
Being on hold with customer service 33%
Rude server 28%
Noisy neighbors 28%
Waiting at the doctor's office 27%
Public transport delays 27%
Slow drivers 26%
When people let their children misbehave in public 25%
People cancelling on you 24%
Forgetting your password 24%
Having to cancel on somebody 22%
People talking in the movies 21%
Have to use a public bathroom but can't find one 19%
Delivery getting your order wrong 19%
Bumping into an ex 19%
Just missing your train/bus 17%
Somebody in the bathroom when you need to be 17%
Checking your bank account 17%
Being in a crowd 17% Paying rent 16%
Slow walkers 16%
Texting the wrong person something about them 14%
Sunday night before the next week of work 14%
Someone trying to get in the bathroom you're in 14%
Not remembering someone's name you just met 12%
Bumping into an old acquaintance 10%
Going grocery shopping 9%
Knowing you're too drunk 7%
Trying to get an extra drink before happy hour ends but can't find server 5%
Holding open the door for somebody 5% Cyclists 5%