Study: 33% of Americans Feel Overworked

March 16, 2005 ( - One in three American workers is chronically overworked, according to a recent study.

Although this number does not vary much from the original study done in 2001 (both studies were conducted by the Families and Work Institute), there are vast difference between ages and lifestyles and the levels of stress related to both, the Associated Press reported.

Employees who have been at companies who have gone through layoffs are more likely to be overworked (42%), compared to only 27% of those at companies that have a steady payroll, according to the study. With overwork comes less vacation,: more than one-third of workers do not take their allotted vacation time, according to the study.

Age also makes a difference in relation to overworking. Older workers – those between 40 and 59 – are more likely to be overworked, with 37% reporting that they are. The overworking levels are lower for both Generation Y (18- to 25-year olds) and Generation X (26- to 39-year olds) members, who report being overworked in numbers of only 28% and 29%, respectively. Based on these findings, the study suggests that younger workers are finding a better work-life balance than their older peers.

Surprisingly, people with children are no less likely to be overworked than those without; however, 40% of those with teenagers report being overworked. Thirty-seven percent of employees caring for their parents reported being overworked, compared to only 28% without such duties.

The study also reports that the higher the salary, the more the work. Large numbers of managers and people earning above $50,000 report being overworked. However, companies can mitigate this stress by providing greater balance between work and home. Companies that do this have only 26% of employees feeling overworked, compared to 56% for those that do not.

“In some sense, things are getting worse. People are working longer hours and their jobs are becoming more demanding,” said Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, a non-profit research group. “On the other hand, employers have become more flexible and that tends to lessen being overworked, and also, people’s priorities have changed.”

An executive summary of the study is at .