By Jane Han
The stressful mix of extra long hours at work, heightened office competition and the pressure to bring home more money is pushing more working men toward ― and sometimes over ― a cliff, a survey showed Monday.
A poll by online recruiter Career said 66 percent of working men in their 30s and older have felt the urge to flee from their homes and escape today's reality in the past year due to suffocating economic difficulties.
Forty-something men turned out to have the strongest desire to run away with more than 72 percent of them saying they wanted to take off, while men in their 30s followed next with 64 percent.
The results showed that the No. 1 reason men needed time off was to get physical and psychological rest (30 percent), simply escape from the daily grind (19 percent), relieve stress from a recent layoff (16 percent) and take a break from family members (12 percent).
A majority of respondents (38 percent) said they experienced the urge to escape in the early part of this year, while 27 percent said they're currently fighting the desire.
"Financial hardship is often the biggest and toughest test that couples have to overcome," said Lee Ji-sun, an official of the Family Counseling Center, which provides counseling services for individuals, couples and families.
She explained that the number of counseling requests submitted by men has been gradually rising since the economic downturn gained traction in the second half of last year.
"It's natural to get the urge to drop everything and leave, so men shouldn't feel guilty for experiencing the feeling," said Lee, adding that proper and timely attention to emotional stress should help alleviate the itch to escape.
But the Career poll indicated that a significant number of men actually delivered their desire into action by running away from home, whether it be for a matter of days or weeks.
Among the 21 percent of respondents who left home, 33 percent worked briefly at a workplace that provided food and a place to sleep, while 21 percent said they traveled around to regain their confidence.