34% of Workers More Burned Out Than Last Year

34% of Workers More Burned Out Than Last Year

Employers worry burnout could hurt staff retention
An overworked, tired woman

If you’ve been feeling more exhausted at work than usual, you may be part of a growing trend.

More than one-third of workers —34% — said they feel more burned out on the job today than they did a year ago, according to new research by staffing company Robert Half.

Of those respondents, 45% report they are just as burned out this year as last year, employers may want to explore ways to help their workforce cope better.

Burnout transcends all groups

No group appears to be immune to burnout’s grip.

Despite earlier research that described the concerns working parents have had about balancing parenting obligations with work during the pandemic, the Robert Half survey suggests that burnout affects parents and non-parents almost equally.

Specifically, 35% of respondents with children in their household said they are more burned out at work today than last year compared with 33% of respondents without children in their household that feel that way.

There are, however, differences by gender and age group.

A higher percentage of women — 38% — reported being more burned out this year than last year compared with 30% of men. Also, when asked if they were experiencing more burnout this year than last year:

  • 37% of employees between 25-30 said yes
  • 32% of workers between 41-54 said yes
  • 29% of workers 55 and older said yes

Interestingly some regions of the country may be more prone to burnout. The survey found that Indianapolis had the highest percentage of workers (46%) who said their burnout has increased since a year ago, followed by Dallas and Raleigh, NC, each with 43% of workers who felt the same way.

Work obligations on the rise

The pandemic has had a big impact on workers mentally and emotionally. In fact, an earlier study by ValuePenguin found that 55% of respondents admitted that their mental health had suffered because of the coronavirus outbreak.

However, the biggest cause of burnout according to the Robert Half survey is overwork, with 30% of respondents citing more work obligations as the reason for their job-related exhaustion. The shift many companies have made to remote working may be contributing to the larger workloads. An earlier survey found that more than half of workers were putting in more hours once they started working from home because of the pandemic.

Regardless of the reasons why employees feel burned out, their work-related fatigue could have major implications for employers.

An earlier survey conducted by Robert Half found that an overwhelming 88% of senior managers surveyed this summer admitted to being worried about their company’s ability to keep employees from leaving.

Of those senior managers who expressed concerns, nearly half of them —47% — said the biggest reason for their concern is they believe their employees are dealing with heavy workloads and could be on the verge of experiencing burnout.

Methodology: Robert Half surveyed 2,800 workers 18 and over who typically work in office environments and 2,800 senior managers at companies with at least 20 employees. Polling took place between July 7-Aug. 9, 2020 in 28 major cities.