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June 17, 2021

Workloads continue to head up sharply, study suggests

If it seems as if you’re working harder than you used to, it’s probably not your imagination. A majority of employees say their workloads have jumped sharply because of the global economic downturn.

79% of employees reported their workloads increased as a result of layoffs at their firm, according to a recent survey by staffing company Right Management. 56% per cent characterized that jump as being "a lot."

Employees at large organizations feel the heat more, with 68% saying their workloads have increased substantially compared to only 33% at small organizations.

Like it or not, most remaining employees have little other choice but to work harder. The current job market makes jumping ship for another position a more daunting undertaking than a few years ago.

But Henryk Krajewski, Right’s national practice leader in Canada, reminds business owners that employees can only take so much.

Overstressed employees don’t usually perform at their best and frantic workplaces can quickly erode morale, damaging even top level workers.

“Management must acknowledge increased workloads and commit to employee development and opportunity during tough times,” he says. “For those who are being asked to step up, give them a sense of choice, and ownership in the direction moving forward to enhance satisfaction and commitment.”

Krajewski offers several suggestions to help employees handle increased workloads, advising them to stay flexible, ask questions and ensure that managers provide needed direction.

That means continually realigning your work according to your manager’s priorities; clarifying any new expectations and roles; developing new skills and capabilities as you go; and constantly reminding everyone  how the business is profiting from your new responsibilities. 

How are things where you work? Are you being asked to do more with less? Has anybody acknowledged or even noticed your contribution?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...