U.S. full-time employees are suffering from work overload. Not a huge surprise, but one would think that as the unemployment rate has improved, some of that burden – at least partially the product of coworker layoffs over the past few years – would have eased by now. In fact, a recent study by Cornerstone OnDemand and Kelton revealed that 68 percent of full-time workers in the U.S. are suffering from work overload, a 14 percent jump from the 2013 study. Additionally, more than 52 percent of respondents reported that their workload situation had worsened over the past year.
Over 60 percent of respondents believe that the overload is actually making them less productive. This has serious ramifications when it comes to the always-on, always-connected digital work style that has been developing over the past few years. The more overworked people are, the more they have to work longer hours; the longer they work, the less productive they become; and the less productive they become, the longer they must work. And at a time when technology tethers people to work like never before, more than a quarter (26 percent) of those surveyed said they feel like they can't turn off their job outside of work hours or even while on vacation.
Conducted for a second year, Cornerstone's "The State of Workplace Productivity Report" examines how the ways people work, where they work and the tools they use for work impact their abilities to be productive and successful in their roles. The findings indicate that the tools and management styles of today are not enabling employees to be the workforce of tomorrow. However, the results also point to potential solutions – such as flexible work schedules, the right work environment and wearable technology – that may hold promise for those trying to combat the most exasperating productivity killers in their work lives.
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