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EMPLOYEES SPEAK OUT ABOUT STRESS LEVELS: SURVEY SHOWS OVERBALANCING WORK AND FAMILY A BIG ISSUE

 BOSTON, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Meeting family and work responsibilities is a major cause of stress for employees, according to a survey released today by the work/life group at the first national conference on work/life issues in Boston that surveyed employees from more than 100 New England firms.
 Conducted by Atlantic Research/McDermott/O'Neill & Associates in Boston, the survey polled 159 employees, 62 percent of them women, and found that workers at corporations with 500 or more employees and respondents with children and aging parents feel the most stress. Of those, 29 percent said a lack of time with family members was the most stressful part of their lives, while 23 percent cited financial issues.
 "Companies that are innovative and creative in response to the concerns of their employees particularly about flex time, job sharing and related and family issues will have a happier workforce and will reduce the costs of training, interviewing and keeping a productive workforce," said Pamela G. McDermott, president of McDermott/O'Neill & Associates.
 "It's a challenge many people in the workforce face every day," said Peter Hooper of Atlantic Research who managed the interviews and added, "During the interviews, the stress that people feel, even discussing how they balance work and family, was palpable." Forty-two percent of the survey respondents don't think their children or spouse really understand the pressure they're under to perform at work.
 The Survey Also Found:
 -- Almost one-third of employees lost their concentration after 3
 p.m. when their children are home from school;
 -- twenty-nine percent of employees arrive late or are absent when
 their children are sick;
 -- Thiry-nine percent of the respondents said they would probably
 find another job except their present job gives them the
 flexibility to manage family responsibilities;
 -- Thirty-seven percent said they had no qualms about hiring a
 worker to help care for their children or elderly parents, even
 if the worker is an illegal immigrant.
 "Employees are walking a fine line trying to balance their domestic and work duties," said Ann Vincola, a member of the Work/Life Group, a coalition of employment consultants who presented the survey findings to executives from 25 top companies today and advises companies on these issues. "More and more companies are adjusting to the changing profiles of their employees, many of whom are working parents, and reaping the benefits," she added.
 For example, a manufacturing company the Work/Life Group advised recently discovered that a single pay phone was responsible for a decline in the firm's productivity. At approximately 3 p.m., employees became anxious to call home and check on their children who would have arrived home from school, but only one payphone was available. In response, the company arranged to have additional phones installed so their employees could call home and resume their work more efficiently.
 The survey, a cooperative effort between Atlantic Marketing Research and McDermott/O'Neill & Associates in Boston, was part of a study focusing on women, their changing roles at work and home, and all the stresses associated with working and caring for a family.
 McDermott/O'Neill & Associates, the largest public affairs firm in New England, offers high quality, comprehensive services and products to corporate, institutional, and public sector clients. The firm is unique in its ability to provide fully integrated services in government and community relations, issues management, press relations, relationship marketing, opinion research and strategic planning.
 Atlantic Marketing Research Company is a national marketing and opinion research company offering a full array of quantitative and qualitative services for original research. Altantic engages in telephone survey research projects, mail and personal surveys, as well as focus groups and other data gathering approaches.
 Please call 617-261-2200 for more information about the survey.
 -0- 4/15/93
 /CONTACT: Laura Mather of McDermott/O'Neill & Associates, 617-261-2200/


CO: McDermott/O'Neill ST: Massachusetts IN: SU:

TM -- NE016 -- 6451 04/15/93 16:39 EDT
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Date:Apr 15, 1993
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