Thursday, April 9, 2009

Are you living to work or working to live?

A new survey examining the health and well-being of Americans discovered that the majority of people value their work for more than just the paycheck it delivers by asking: Do you live to work or work to live?

As the U.S. economy struggles through a recession and companies lay off hundreds of thousands of workers, CIGNA conducted the survey to explore attitudes toward work and disability insurance, along with the effect the economy is having on work environments.

Key findings of the survey include:
  • Americans have a strong work ethic and derive satisfaction from their jobs.
  • Americans feel unproductive, worried, afraid, anxious and depressed when they’re out of work because of an injury or illness.
  • Most say the overall mood in the workplace has changed in the past six months – and most say those changes have been for the worse.

When asked about how they viewed their job, those surveyed revealed that:
  • 65% would say they belong in the “Live to Work” category
  • 35% put themselves in the “Work to Live” category
  • 31% like their job and feel a sense of satisfaction by going to work each day
  • 21% love their job and would continue working even if they won the lottery
  • 13% said their work give their life structure and purpose

Among those who work to live, survey respondents said that it was the paycheck or insurance benefits keeping them at their current job. Many felt stuck because of the economy or had hopes of retiring soon, but can’t afford to.

The most common reasons why respondents felt they live to work: they like their co-workers, feel a sense of accomplishment from their job, are proud of their work, or feel their work makes a difference.

“The good news for U.S. employers is that most people say they enjoy their work and derive satisfaction from it,” said Jodi Prohofsky, Ph.D., a licensed therapist and senior vice president of health solutions operations at CIGNA. “On the other hand, the economy is causing more stress and anxiety among workers, and we know that stress can often contribute to or lead to disabling illnesses, so it’s important for employers to help their employees manage stress and anxiety before that happens.”

Earlier this week we talked about how employees desire more in-person communication with top management in their organizations. Making employees a part of the conversation during tough times is one of the most effective ways to help employees manage the stress and fear that typically comes along with organizational change.

Effective communication can have a powerful impact on morale within an organization. Though you may be navigating some rough waters right now, focusing on communication and employee morale will have you smooth sailing when everything finally calms down.

So, the question is: Do you work to live or live to work?

No comments:

Brought to you by