Employee burnout is becoming a prominent issue across the globe. Heavy workloads, draining work environments, and lack of support from managers are all contributors to this global phenomenon, causing stress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
The onset of COVID-19 has shown to increase the likelihood of burnout among workers, as people try to manage the stress of isolation, changing work environments, and an uncertain future. In order to avoid employee burnout, business owners and startups must first understand the reasons behind it and ways to prevent it from happening.
- Burnout impacts 76% of employees at some point in their careers.
- 77% of professionals come across employee burnout at their current job.
- Only 15% of employees are satisfied with their jobs.
- 42% of workers quit their jobs because of burnout.
- According to 67% of workers, employee burnout has gotten worse during COVID-19.
- 42% of employees say their stress levels are high or very high.
- UK burned-out employees take 68% more days off than average to avoid work.
- In Portugal, employee burnout affects 38.6% of the workforce.
- Working in a healthy environment is considered a vital aspect by 91% of Australian employees.
- 50% of physicians experience serious burnout symptoms.
Employee burnout has become so widespread that it is now considered a global health issue. So much so that the World Health Organization has officially included it in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases.
The employee burnout definition is described as a result of unaddressed, ongoing workplace stress that leads to poor work outcomes such as lack of focus, increased sick days, anxiety, depression, and general avoidance of work.
1. Burnout affects 76% of employees at least occasionally.
Workplace burnout affects most workers at least some of the time, and an alarming 28% of employees say they experience burnout on the job very often or always. With only 4% stating that they have never felt burned out at work, addressing the causes of burnout appears critical to a thriving workplace.
Notably, job burnout statistics show that 63% of exhausted workers are more likely to take sick days, and 23% will visit the emergency room.
2. Workers exceeding 50 hours a week have a higher risk of burnout.
While it’s true that the number of hours worked in a week impacts employee health, it isn’t the only cause of burnout. According to Gallup’s burnout survey, many motivated employees work overtime and report higher happiness levels than many average workers.
Employee gratification is also dependent on fair treatment at work, a manageable workload, and clear communication with managers, among many other factors.
3. 77% of professionals come across employee burnout at their current job.
The latest burnout research found that half of employees who experience burnout have experienced it more than once.
According to Deloitte, the biggest drivers of employee burnout are lack of recognition from leaders (31%), unreasonable deadlines and expectations (30%), and exhaustion from working overtime and over the weekend (29%).
4. Only 15% of people feel engaged at work.
According to a global sample of employees, the percentage of people who hate their jobs is about 85%. Although more and more companies are concerned with their workers’ well-being, the rate of unsatisfied workers is still almost everyone.
Type of work, career advancement, commute, number of hours worked, and relationships with bosses and colleagues all play a significant role in determining whether employees feel happy with their jobs or not.
5. Nearly half of millennials quit their job because of burnout.
At the same time, 42% of all survey respondents claimed burnout was the sole reason for leaving their job.
A majority of millennials (84%) said they have experienced burnout at some point at work—compared to 77% of overall employees.
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has impacted the mental health and wellbeing of people all over the world. With alterations to work environments and general anxiety and isolation caused by social distancing, employee burnout is at an all-time high.
6. 67% of workers agree that employee burnout has worsened during the pandemic.
While the majority of workers report that burnout has gotten worse since the onset of the pandemic, still 13% of all workers think burnout has gotten better. Surprisingly, employee burnout statistics for 2021 demonstrated that 38% of newly remote workers reported being burned out, while only 28% of on-site employees reported the same. Notably, on-site workers were less likely to state that COVID-19 was a contributing cause to their burnout compared to those working from home.
7. Since the pandemic started, 37% of employees say they have been working more hours than usual.
One of the leading causes of employee burnout is working long hours, but it’s not the only factor. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, employees reported that they did not get the support they needed from their leaders.
A mere 21% said that they had helpful and open conversations with entrepreneurs about coping with burnout.
8. 42% of the employed workforce states that their stress levels are high or very high, according to workplace stress statistics.
Since its beginning, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a massive toll on mental health. Stress is the biggest concern for the vast majority of workers.
The top stressors for those surveyed include personal finances, family health, local economy, and job responsibilities, which all worsened with the advent of the pandemic.
9. 69% of workers are experiencing job burnout symptoms while working remotely.
While there are many benefits to working from home, most people and businesses are doing it simply out of necessity. As the pandemic extends, more and more both on-site and virtual American workers are facing the consequences of burnout.
Recent burnout statistics indicate that burnout rates for the second quarter of 2020 are nearly 20% higher than in May of that same year. While working onsite comes with its own stresses such as commuting, inter-office dynamics, and rigid worktimes, remote employees face issues such as constant interruptions from family, multi-tasking, and working longer or irregular hours.
Employee burnout isn’t a new concept, but there’s no doubt that the global pandemic has made it more pervasive. There are many other factors that contribute to employee burnout, and they are prevalent across the globe.
10. UK employees take 68% more days off than average to evade work.
Employee burnout statistics state that 53% of UK employees confessed they feel burned out by doing their job. Further, when asked about tasks that they tolerated as part of their work, 38% reported that they now feel blatantly bothered by them.
Most of the time, workers do not receive any support or motivation from managers, whether small business owners or large corporations. Lack of support and direct guidance from leadership is a contributing factor to dissatisfaction in the workplace.
11. 57% of US and Canadian workers feel stressed daily.
Statistics for the United States and Canada show that workplace stress is higher than in any other country in the world. The worldwide average for stressed employees currently stands at 43%, and many concerns contribute to the stress of global workers suchas financial instability, health problems, and racial and gender discrimination in the workplace.
12. In Portugal, employee burnout affects 38.6% of the workforce.
Apart from being one of the countries with the most overworked employees, statistics prove that Portugal suffers from the highest rate of burnout at work. Greece comes in second place, with 30.9% of the workforce experiencing burnout, and Latvia is third, with 23.9%. Notably, these three countries sit at the bottom of the world happiness index.
13. 70% of Indian employees experience stress at work at least once a week.
When evaluating stress in the workplace, stats found that India has the highest rate of stress among the entire Asia-Pacific region, measuring 10% more than the region’s average.
Approximately 46% of employed Indians work 6–10 unpaid hours every week, reflecting in high levels of stress and burnout.
14. 91% of Australians agree that it’s essential to work in a healthy environment.
While most would agree that a healthy work environment is important, the rate of job burnout and depression in the Australian workplace is still a prevalent issue. TNS reported that only 52% of Australian employees believed their workplace was healthy.
Moreover, one-fifth of workers took time off within the past 12 months due to stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
While burnout can happen to anyone, there are some occupations that are more mentally or emotionally demanding than others. Just as some industries impact physical health, so it is for mental health as well.
15. In 2019, social workers had a lifetime burnout of 75%.
It is common for social workers to experience signs of burnout in the workplace, especially among practitioners that work directly with traumatized children, physically and mentally ill individuals, and victims of sexual assault.
With the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, social worker burnout statistics significantly worsened. The combination of a highly stressed population, an overburdened social system, and being a frontline worker, social workers have felt the impact of the pandemic more than many.
16. 50% of physicians report having severe symptoms of burnout.
Due to unreasonable demands, unmanageable pressure, patient care, and increased administrative burdens associated with practicing medicine, the physician is considered one of the primary jobs with high burnout rates. Nurses, social workers, teachers, and those employed in public services also are at serious risk.
17. 78% of therapists scored high levels of burnout.
Professions that involve caring for others have high rates of stress and burnout. In particular, therapist burnout statistics unveiled that 16.1% of these professionals are majorly depressed. Over the last two years, these numbers have grown disproportionately, as the pandemic placed an extensive burden on mental health workers.
The statistics on stress in the workplace prove that many companies worldwide overwork their employees and do not pay enough attention to their wellbeing, causing low productivity and unhappiness. COVID-19 placed unprecedented pressure on employees to keep it together while experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety, and isolation.
In order to retain employees and foster a thriving work environment, appreciating and accommodating employees is integral. Employee satisfaction is seemingly the heart and soul of a company’s success, driving production and preventing costly turnover.
Providing support, flexibility and incentives are all ways to encourage positive mental health in the workplace, be it remote or in-office.
Employee burnout is a state of exhaustion and frustration that causes low productivity at work, reduced accomplishments, lack of motivation and focus, and, in some cases, even loss of self-identity.
Apart from damaging workers’ mental health, burnout is also responsible for ruining their physical well-being. Low immunity, constant headaches, muscle pain, and change in appetite are only scratching the surface of the damaging consequences induced by employee burnout.
That’s why it’s essential to work in a supportive and healthy environment, take time off, and avoid working overtime.
While it is not considered a mental illness, burnout is undoubtedly a common mental health issue that afflicts many workers worldwide. Mental disorders such as anxiety and depression might be triggering this frustrating feeling, or perhaps they are triggered by the work environment.
Notably, the World Health Organization included employee burnout in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as an occupational phenomenon, not a mental health condition.
Employee burnout doesn’t occur overnight, but rather is an experience that occurs due to ongoing, chronic conditions of stress in the workplace.
Here are some physical, emotional, and behavioral signs of burnout:
- Frequent muscle pain and fatigue
- Change in appetite and sleeping habits
- Feeling drained most of the time
- Sense of failure and self-doubt
- Feeling of detachment from reality
- Loss of motivation and negative outlook in life
- Decreased sense of accomplishment
- Isolation from others
- Procrastination when dealing with getting things done
- Sense of frustration directed onto other people
- Abnormal work schedule (coming in late, leaving early, skipping working days)
Burnout is a serious matter, and many business owners underestimate its damaging impact on people’s physical and mental health. While certain stressors may not be a big deal for some workers, they can cause others to become depressed or even question their self-worth.
The primary causes of burnout may include working overtime, lack of adequate support from managers, poor self-care, and unreasonable workload and deadlines. For this reason, creating an open discussion between managers and employees about burnout is a critical first step. Employees that feel respected and listened to can help create a work environment that fosters productivity and prevents burnout.
Americans spend one-third of their time at work, and over 80% of them are dissatisfied with their profession. Considering that an average person spends 90,000 hours of their lifetime at work, it’s surely a great deal of time to be unhappy about their career. Ultimately, many decide to quit their jobs to find a more profitable alternative.
For example, many women are not satisfied with their pay, as they earn 20% less than men for the same job. Although the gender gap is slowly closing, sexism in the workplace is still a hot topic.
While employee burnout was already high before the coronavirus outbreak, 67% of workers report that it’s gotten much worse. Just 13% of those surveyed by Indeed stated the situation has improved.
As more and more workers started working from home, they felt the consequences of burnout the most. In fact, 38% of them declared that burnout has worsened against 28% of on-site workers.
Compared to other public service professions, teaching is the job with the highest percentage of employee burnout. It is usually associated with poor working conditions, low-salary, and a lack of job security. Teachers under the age of 30 suffer the most from employee burnout, and are 51% more likely to quit their jobs than older, more experienced teachers.
Especially during the pandemic, burnout is something that cannot be ignored. Recently, Indeed has found that 52% of all workers are currently exhausted, up to 9% more than pre-pandemic levels.
Employers can analyze these employee burnout statistics and find new ways to help workers feel more supported and motivated in the workplace. After all, happy and inspired workers do more work.