With the holidays fast approaching, workers who are experiencing burnout would rather welcome another lockdown during the season if it means getting some respite from work, a new survey in the UK showed.
More than half of respondents polled by Hack Future Lab said they prefer to be placed under a two-week "festive lockdown" to get a chance to recover from the pressures of their job, while 73% said they have reached a "breaking point".
Three in four workers, on average, also said they have been experiencing burnout since July, around the time the majority of respondents had been ordered to return to the worksite. Overall, the top causes of burnout cited by the workers included:
• Having a demanding workload
• Seeing an increase in absenteeism among colleagues
• Struggling to adjust to old norms of working onsite amid the pandemic
All of the 2,100 respondents to the study have been called back to the workplace, yet over half are now looking forward to staying home should another lockdown be declared. They believe the holiday restrictions would give them an opportunity to break away from work and deal with their feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as the uncertainty that has only intensified post-lockdown, Hack Future Lab found.
This trend is called "returnism," or the mental and emotional toll of having been ordered to return to the workplace after more than a year of being in lockdown.
"For a considerable number of people, readjusting to a workplace environment and the nine-to-five has not been easy," said Terence Mauri, CEO of Hack Future Lab.
Mauri pointed to growing employer demands, along with rampant absenteeism among workers, as hurdles to their return to the workplace. These, in effect, are "placing a great strain on many employees," the CEO said.
"It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that of the 2,100 individuals we interviewed across the UK, 73% described themselves as being at 'breaking point' and that 53% would wholly welcome a winter lockdown to recharge their batteries and protect their mental health," Mauri said.
The findings are a "worrying reflection of the times," and should compel government and business leaders to look after the welfare of workers "before it is too late," the CEO said.