Older Canadian Workers Report Stress Issues More Than Younger Counterparts

October 29, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Older Canadian workers are more likely to report workplace stress issues than their younger counterparts, bucking conventional wisdom and showing trends that may necessitate a paradigm shift for human resource managers.

According to a three-year survey by WarrenShepell Research Group entitled ‘The Aging Workforce: An EAP’s Perspective’, older workers are more likely to report stress issues. Over a three-year period, the average number of workers over 49 reporting stress issues was 8.67%, compared to 5.65% for workers under 49. This number is increasing faster for older people as well, with complaints for older workers increasing at a rate of 9.63%, compared to 7.76% for younger workers.

Older workers are also more likely to report work-relationship conflicts as well, with the three-year average at 4.67% for older workers and 2.85% for younger ones. They are also more likely to report higher levels of medical situational stresses (2.34% v. 1.05%).

Overall, however, older workers access employee assistance programs (EAP) and work-life services less than younger workers, accounting for only 9.45% of EAP accesses. The study said that they therefore may be missing out on preventative benefits of the service.

In the work-life services area, older workers were more likely to access financial (6.81% to 3.66%) and elder care (1.34% to 0.50%) services.

The report suggests that employers must create workplaces that reduce psychological stress in order to accommodate older workers. To get a copy of the report, contact The Communication Group Inc. at 416 696 9900 or 800 267 4476.