Study Finds 76% of U.S. Employees Are Currently Experiencing Worker Burnout

New Spring Health Study Conducted by The Harris Poll Explores How 2020 Events Impact Employees Mental Health

Spring Health, a leading provider of behavioral health benefits with the most comprehensive solution for employee mental well-being, announced the findings of Burnout Nation, a December 2020 online study of 1,136 employed U.S. adults that found more than three-quarters (76%) of U.S. employees are currently experiencing worker burnout.

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The coronavirus pandemic — along with major political upheavals and natural disasters ranging from wildfires to hurricanes — has led to skyrocketing rates of depression, anxiety, and stress for U.S. employees, setting the stage for another crisis: worker burnout. Among U.S. employees experiencing worker burnout, 57% say worries about COVID-19 have been a contributing factor to their experiencing burnout, while 33% say worries about political issues have contributed to burnout.

“The events of 2020 have put a tremendous amount of pressure on U.S. employees — especially those who are raising children or taking care of elderly loved ones,” said Dr. Millard Brown, senior vice president of Medical Affairs at Spring Health. “Burnout is extremely costly for organizations, so it’s imperative that leaders take steps now to reduce and manage burnout symptoms for their workforce.”

Alarming number of U.S. employees experiencing worker burnout

The primary symptoms of burnout include exhaustion, feeling negative, cynical or detached from work, and reduced work performance. This state of physical and emotional exhaustion is often reached after an extended period of high stress.

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Findings from the study show some populations are more heavily affected by burnout than others. Employed women, for example, are more likely than employed men to report they are currently experiencing worker burnout (80% vs. 72%), and employed women in younger age brackets are more likely to experience burnout than older employed women (87% ages 18-44 vs. 74% ages 45-54).

“Employee burnout can present on a spectrum,” said Dr. Brown. “At its earliest stages, burnout can be mobilized more easily. Whether it’s offering more flexible work schedules for caretakers or rebalancing workloads that have been skewed by layoffs, employers have a lot of opportunities to support their team members without sacrificing larger organizational goals. Once an employee reaches the complete burnout stage, though, recovery can become a challenging and long-term process that significantly disrupts both the employee’s life and the organization’s efficacy.”

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