Article: Is burnout a problem that just won't go away?

Employee Engagement

Is burnout a problem that just won't go away?

Nearly 4 in 10 professionals report rising burnout highlighting the need for essential work breaks to restore energy and focus, reveals new research from Robert Half.
Is burnout a problem that just won't go away?

Burnout remains an ongoing and challenging issue in the workplace, reveals new research from global talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half. 

According to a survey of over 2,400 professionals in the US, 38 per cent of respondents reported experiencing higher levels of burnout compared to a year ago. 

The study identified the following top factors contributing to burnout among workers today:

  • Heavy workloads: A staggering 56 per cent of respondents cited heavy workloads as a significant contributor to burnout. 
  • Lack of communication and support from management: 32 per cent of professionals highlighted the lack of communication and support from their managers as a leading cause of burnout. 
  • Insufficient tools and resources: 27 per cent of respondents reported that insufficient tools and resources to perform effectively contribute to burnout. 

The groups experiencing the highest levels of burnout are:

  • Individuals belonging to the millennial generation (between the age of 27 and 42 years).
  • Working parents who juggle professional and family responsibilities.
  • Employees who have been working at their current company for a period of 2 to 4 years.

"Despite employers' efforts to better support employee well-being, burnout is an issue that needs ongoing attention.Compounding the matter, businesses are moving forward with an influx of new projects, putting more pressure on current staff who may already be stretched thin," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half.

Combating burnout culture

The research indicates that there is a need for greater efforts in fostering a healthy workplace culture. Nearly four in 10 professionals (37 per cent) feel hesitant to discuss their  feelings of burnout with their boss. Further, one in five workers reported their manager hasn't taken steps to help them alleviate work-related stress. 

Among those who have received support, the following measures have been implemented:

  • 26 per cent have been encouraged to take time off.
  • 24 per cent have been granted increased schedule flexibility.
  • 22 per cent have received guidance on prioritising projects.

Foregoing summer fun

Work breaks are essential for restoring energy and focus and preventing burnout. 

While 28 per cent of professionals plan to use more vacation days this summer compared to last summer, an equal percentage (28 per cent) feel they can't take time off, either because they have too much work or worry it will impact their job security. Another 21 per cent of employees will be checking in with work frequently when on vacation.

"Refreshed and recharged workers are happier, more productive and less likely to burn out. To discourage hustle culture and find better balance, managers must set clear and realistic expectations, and workers need to prioritise self-care and protect their personal time. Contract professionals can step in to help ensure projects stay on track and workloads remain manageable,” noted McDonald.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Employee Relations, #Wellbeing

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