U.S. and Canadian workers are most stressed-out in the world

America's workers are the most stressed-out and worried workers in the world, according to a new survey.

Gallup asked global workers about their life at work, growth opportunities, workday emotions, and COVID-19 life disruption. The survey found "substantial increases in daily stress, worry, sadness and anger among workers employed for an employer during 2020," Gallup said. "But the U.S. and Canada [as a region] topped the list on stress."

"One might think that stressed-out, overworked employees are a distinctly American experience," Gallup said. "However, our data shows that Canadian workers had even higher stress than U.S. workers."

Half of all American and Canadian workers said that COVID has affected them "a lot." About a third lost pay and 40% worked fewer hours.

"With global borders closing, workplaces shuttering and jobs being cut, workers' daily stress reached a record high, increasing from 38% in 2019 to 43% in 2020," Gallup said. "Leaders and managers at every level should address this as it could lead to increased burnout, upset and disengagement."

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Gallup's State of the Global Workplace: 2021 Report also showed a global decrease in employee engagement, thanks to remote work. 

"Leaders will need to address this decrease and the business impact on workplace culture, employee retention and performance," Gallup said.

However, workers in the U.S. and Canada reported a very small increase in engagement in 2020 compared to the year before.

"That, of course, is not the whole story," Gallup said. "As Gallup tracked U.S. engagement throughout 2020, levels went on a wild ride, unlike anything Gallup has seen before."

Further Reading from Gallup