A recent report from Indeed found that employee burnout is on the rise: 52% of all workers are feeling burned out, up +9% from a pre-COVID survey.
Employees of all ages and types are experiencing the impact of stress, fatigue, and mental health challenges.
And when you look at some of the employee burnout statistics today, it’s easy to see why this is a major challenge for organizations.
Understanding the causes and current state of employee burnout can help leaders develop strategies to prevent it and help workers feel supported.
Read on for the latest data on employee burnout and what organizations can do to reduce it.
Defining Employee Burnout
The impact of burnout on people and businesses has gotten a lot of attention in recent years.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies employee burnout as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
The WHO lists the three main symptoms as:
- feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
- increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings negative towards one’s career
- reduced professional productivity
It’s a type of emotional exhaustion that has a serious impact on employee wellbeing.
Employee burnout is a public health problem that is only getting worse and needs to be addressed by companies through culture and policies that help reduce work stress.
The Impact of Job Burnout
Burnout takes a toll on employees’ mental and physical health that affects people’s personal and professional lives.
And when your team is struggling, that has serious implications on business performance.
Researchers looked into how workplace stress impacts mortality and health costs in the United States and found that it led to nearly 120,000 deaths and nearly $190 billion in spending each year.
625 million people suffer from depression and anxiety, and the WHO estimates that $1 trillion is lost in productivity each year as a result.
Employee burnout leads to lower levels of confidence in teams and diminished employee engagement, which can have a negative impact on job satisfaction, employee retention, customer relationships, and overall success.
Reducing employee burnout is crucial for organizations because of the impact it has on areas like innovation, productivity, and retention.
The Latest Employee Burnout Statistics
- 75% of workers have experienced burnout, with 40% saying they’ve experienced burnout specifically during the pandemic. (FlexJobs)
- 67% of all workers believe burnout has worsened over the course of the pandemic. (Indeed)
- 36% of employees said their organization isn’t doing anything to help with employee burnout. (Eagle Hill Consulting)
- 37% of employed respondents say they are currently working longer hours than usual since the pandemic started. (FlexJobs)
- Sixty-one percent of remote workers and 53% of on-site workers now find it more difficult to “unplug” from work during off-hours. (Indeed)
- Burned-out employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times as likely to be actively seeking a different job. (Gallup)
- Depression costs the U.S. $51 billion in absenteeism and lost productivity alone. (Mental Health America)
- 21% of workers say they were able to have open, productive conversations with HR about solutions to their burnout. (FlexJobs)
- 56% went so far as to say that their HR departments did not encourage conversations about burnout. (FlexJobs)
- Prior to the pandemic, just 5% of employed workers and 7% of unemployed workers said their mental health was poor or very poor. Now, 18% of employed and 27% of unemployed workers say they are struggling with mental health issues. (FlexJobs)
- More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents agree that workplace stress affects their mental health. (FlexJobs)
- 56% of workers listed having flexibility in their workday as the top way their workplace could better support them. Encouraging time off and offering mental health days were tied for second and third at 43%. And 28% felt that increased PTO and better health insurance were the next best ways to provide support. (FlexJobs)
- Burned-out employees are 23% more likely to visit the emergency room. (Gallup)
- Only 60% of workers can strongly agree that they know what is expected of them at work. (Gallup)
- Managers are just as likely, if not slightly more so, to suffer frequent or constant burnout than individual contributors (26% of managers vs. 24% of individual contributors). (Gallup)
- Workplace stress is estimated to cost the U.S. economy more than $500 billion dollars, and each year, 550 million workdays are lost due to stress on the job. (APA)
How to Reduce Employee Burnout
Preventing employee burnout should be a top priority for leaders at any organization. Now is the time to put policies and strategies in place to support your people and teams.
Here are some ideas to use for avoiding employee burnout:
1. Improve communications
Keeping employees informed and connected leads to more engaged and satisfied teams. And when your employees can easily share information, expectations, and updates, that can have a direct impact on avoiding burnout.
Honesty and frequent communications from leadership can help workers know what is expected and plan ahead for the future.
Communications tools can help improve internal communications for remote and distributed teams.
For example, companies use employee advocacy platforms like EveryoneSocial to communicate regularly with their teams — wherever they’re working– and get feedback on new initiatives.
2. Discuss flexible scheduling and work boundaries
Managers should have open conversations with teammates to determine flexible work arrangements and policies that promote work-life balance to help team members feel supported and engaged.
When working remotely, balancing personal and professional responsibilities can be a challenge. And managers that lead with empathy and empower employees to make decisions about how they structure their day can lead to team members feeling more supported and engaged.
Encourage unplugging during scheduled time off and taking breaks throughout the day.
3. Offer wellness and mental health benefits
Many companies adjusted their benefits in the past year to be more inclusive and provide employees with ways to reduce stress.
Mental Health America found that people were open to participating in virtual mental health solutions if they were offered through their workplace, such as:
- Meditation sessions (45%)
- Healthy eating classes (38%)
- Virtual workout classes (37%)
- Desktop yoga (32%)
- Webinars about mental health topics (31%)
The right perks are different for every organization and culture, so it’s best to collect employee feedback and offer flexible options to improve the workplace experience.
Ultimately, your people and their wellbeing are the heart of every company’s success.
Employers should take these steps to provide employees with the support they need to avoid burnout.
It’s important to create policies and develop strategies to improve workplace culture and stop the rise of this dangerous trend.