STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As the global recession wears on, employees are feeling increasing stress in the workplace that, if left unchecked, could impact business performance, according to Towers Perrin's Workplace Watch, a newly launched quarterly look at employee opinions across a set of large global organizations. Based on opinions of more than 650,000 employees, Towers Perrin found that only 55% of workers agree they can balance work and personal responsibilities, down from 62% just one quarter earlier. On the other hand, employee engagement -- a key indicator of organization performance -- has held steady through the first quarter of this year.

While the global engagement gap that Towers Perrin has measured and tracked for more than a decade remains, the current crisis has not, surprisingly, widened that gap. Contributing to this outcome is the fact that employees are actually clearer about their job responsibilities and have more confidence in their long-term career opportunities now than a year ago.

But the data also confirm a drop in employees' understanding of their company's goals and long-term direction, as well as in their positive perceptions of leadership's overall effectiveness -- both of which could signal the beginning of a downturn in engagement levels as this year progresses.

(Read the entire release.)