Younger workers are more stressed in their jobs and feel under more pressure to work long hours than their older colleagues.
This is one of the key findings from an international study of employee-engagement levels. The study, which questioned more than 30,000 employees in 29 countries, found that although 18 to 29-year-olds are more likely to be free from the biggest responsibilities at work, a larger percentage of them are “frequently” or “nearly always” concerned about their work-life balance and personal health.
Two fifths (39 per cent) of younger employees believe that their employer is using the recession to justify asking them to do more, compared with one in four (24 per cent) older workers. One third (34 per cent) of younger workers are also concerned about having insufficient resources at work to do their job effectively, as opposed to 22 per cent of workers in their sixties.
Forty per cent are frequently stressed at work, while 31 per cent feel pressurised to work long hours – both higher proportions than any other age category. Likewise, 39 per cent of younger employees are unhappy with their work-life balance, and 32 per cent feel that work pressure and stress frequently impacts their health – 5 per cent more than workers in their fifties, and 10 per cent higher than those in their sixties.
The study also found that younger workers are less engaged at work than their older colleagues – just 21 per cent of 18 to 29-year-olds are highly engaged with their employer, compared with 31 per cent in their sixties.
The experience, however, differs from country to country. Businesses in Macedonia, France and Turkey, for example, enjoy a relatively high level of engagement with their younger employees.
However, at the lower end of the scale, just 6 per cent of younger workers in the Czech Republic and Hungary are highly engaged at work, with Portugal and Serbia – both 7 per cent – faring little better. The UK features in the bottom half of the table of 29 countries, with 12 per cent of young workers highly engaged with their employer.
The study was carried out by GfK Custom Research.
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