by Estelle Morrison, Ceridian LifeWorks Vice President of Clinical and Wellness Services
If you knew that an employee wellness issue was affecting a large number of your employees, putting their overall well-being at risk, and reducing productivity, wouldn’t you want your organization to be prepared to mitigate the effects? This is the question at the foundation of Ceridian’s 2015 Caregiving Study Double Duty: The Caregiving Crisis In The Workplace, that delvers deeper into the caregiving dilemma that workers are experiencing throughout North America . This is especially critical since it is estimated that 83.7 million Americans will be aged 65 years old and over by 2050 (almost double compared to 2012). With age there will be an increase in health related issues and therefore an increase in the need for caregivers.
Caregiving is an issue that will affect most Americans at some point in their lives, and according to Ceridian’s 2015 caregiving study, there are ways that your organization can mitigate the negative effects that caregiving has on your employees.
But, before we get into those, I wanted to first share just 10 of the most illuminating findings from our study, which draws insights from more than 1,600 full-time and part-time workers across North America about their jobs and caregiving responsibilities.
Here are 10 of the most important findings:
- Caregiving is more common among today’s workforce than you might think. In 2015, 15 percent of workers (22 million people) are providing informal care to a loved one.
- Attending to caregiving responsibilities can be a major distraction from work. Two-thirds of caregivers have had absences during a workday due to caregiving issues.
- Some caregiving work interruptions are short – others are longer. About one-fifth of caregivers have needed to take prolonged leaves of absence from work.
- While employees take home wages for completing their work at the office, caregiving is pro bono. Approximately 85 percent of working caregivers are not compensated for the time they put into caregiving activities.
- Many relatives of today’s employees are in need of help from a caregiver. Recipients of help often include aging relatives, the mentally ill, those battling addiction and those who are autistic.
- It’s not just middle-aged employees with aging parents who are caregiving. Among millennials, 64 percent now live with at least one care recipient.
- Some employees face the dual challenge of caring for their older relatives and their kids at the same time. Among caregivers, 39 percent also have children under 18 living in the same household.
- It can be very time-consuming to take care of a relative during the work week. Caregivers reported spending an average of 28.7 hours on caregiving per week – a figure that’s increased sharply in the last decade.
- Caregiving tasks can be numerous and diverse. About 51 percent of caregiving time is devoted to chores, errands and transportation, but there are many other tasks as well.
- For many employees, it’s unknown where they can find help with managing their busy schedules as workers and caregivers. Only 19 percent of survey respondents are aware of any caregiving organizations that can support them – the vast majority are tackling their burden all on their own.
Stay tuned for more coverage of Ceridian’s 2015 Caregiving Study, Double Duty: The Caregiving Crisis In The Workplace.
Estelle Morrison, Ceridian LifeWorks Vice President of Clinical and Wellness Services, has more than 25 years of experience managing EAP services. Her focus is on delivering effective, innovative health and wellness solutions with an emphasis on enhanced productivity, prevention of illness and optimal health for Ceridian’s EAP business.