Burnout Plagues America’s Workforce
By: Krystal Etienne · March 27, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes
The rise of remote work during the pandemic brought several welcome changes to the workforce — mainly, no more spending hours commuting each week in traffic. But, for many employees, working remotely has presented a new set of problems.
According to a recent survey of 12,000 employees, a staggering 94% have experienced feeling burnt out from work at some point over the past twelve months. A similar poll conducted in 2021 showed that only 43% of workers had experienced burnout. Due to this stark early- and post-pandemic difference, it’s reasonable to assume that the rise of remote work is contributing to America’s workforce feeling overtaxed.
What’s Going On?
One of the biggest issues associated with working remotely is that it’s harder to draw a line between your professional and personal life, with 61% of employees stating that they find it hard to unplug. As a result, employees feel like they’re working more, since it’s harder to separate time on from time off.
Previously, when an employee left the office, it indicated they were officially off the clock and didn’t feel bad about ignoring anything work-related. But, since the home is now the office, it’s harder to disconnect from all the emails, calls, and Zoom (ZM) meetings. This is especially true when employees face pressure from bosses or clients to be constantly available.
With all this added stress, over 50% of Americans are contemplating quitting their jobs this year and 92% have taken on at least two new roles since 2020.
If you find yourself looking to ease symptoms of workplace burnout, consider setting stricter boundaries between your work and free time. To do this, you’ll need to flex your “saying no” muscle and start turning people down. This includes requests for additional projects and calls, emails, or meetings scheduled for after-hours. Remember, being a good employee doesn’t mean being unconditionally available.
If you’re on the lookout for a new gig, it’s important to make sure you don’t wind up in a similar dissatisfying situation at your new company. You can do this by pinpointing the source of your burnout and making sure those triggers don’t exist in your new role. The most common causes are overwork, lack of community, lack of diversity, mismatched values and skills, and insufficient autonomy.
At the end of the day, protecting your energy levels and mental health will ultimately help you be a more productive, and healthier, employee.
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