US Workers Feeling Overworked, Overwhelmed

May 16, 2001 ( - A large amount of US workers feel overworked and overwhelmed by their workload, a survey released Wednesday shows.

In the study of 1,000 US workers conducted by the New York-based nonprofit Families and Work Institute:

  • 46% of respondents reported feeling overworked
  • 28% said they felt overwhelmed by their workload, and
  • 29% said they felt they had no time to step back and reflect on their work.

Women respondents tended to say they felt more overworked than men, while baby boomers felt more overworked than those of Generation-X or those closer to retirement.

Working Hours

According to the survey,

  • almost a quarter of US workers said they spent 50 or more hours on the job each week.
  • while 22% said they worked six to seven days a week, and
  • and a quarter said they don’t use vacation time to which they’re entitled.

The feeling of being overworked is not solely because of the number of hours spent working. It’s also stems from

  • being pressured or pushed
  • feeling disrespected, and
  • the feeling that one’s work is of little real value.


The survey found that those who said they felt overworked were more likely to:

  • neglect themselves
  • feel unsuccessful in their personal and family relationships.
    seek employment elsewhere,
  • feel angry with their employers
  • make mistakes.

Of those who felt overworked, 17% said that they often made mistakes at work in comparison to the 1% of those who said they did not feel overworked.