Workers Comfortable Talking about Burnout, Say a Four-Day Work Week and Increased Flexibility Would Alleviate Burnout
Nearly half (49 percent) of American employees say that they are burned out from their jobs. This level of burnout remains stable from earlier this year, but has dipped since the early months of the pandemic (58 percent in August 2020). Younger workers (53 percent) and women (54 percent) report feeling higher levels of burnout.
As for the top sources of burnout, workers say it’s their workload (48 percent) and staffing shortages (45 percent). Nearly three-fourths of workers say that a four-day work week (72 percent) would alleviate stress, followed by increased flexibility (69 percent).
These findings are from a workforce survey from Eagle Hill Consulting conducted by Ipsos from August 11 -16, 2022. The 2022 Eagle Hill Consulting Workforce Burnout Survey included 1000 respondents from a random sample of employees across the U.S. Respondents were polled about burnout and vacation.
“It’s encouraging to see that worker stress is dipping, but the high burnout levels remain troubling,” said Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting. “On the heels of Labor Day, it’s important for employers to assess the state of their workforce. Employers need workers at the top of their game, and they need employees to stay on the job in this tight labor market. When employees are exhausted, stressed, or feel like they can’t perform they’re likely to walk out the door.”
“Workers tell us that there are concrete steps employers can take to alleviate burnout – from increased scheduling flexibility to better health and wellness benefits. Employers are wise to really understand the specific burnout levels and triggers among their workforce, along with the actions they can take to address the problem. Our research indicates that employees are comfortable telling their employer they are feeling burned out, so initiating that conversation is the first place to start.” Jezior explained.
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The survey’s key findings are as follows:
- When asked how staff shortages are impacting their workload, 86 percent of workers said it’s covering the workload for un-filled positions, 42 percent said it’s helping others learn their job, 37 percent said it’s training new hires, and 24 percent said it’s recruiting and interviewing new hires.
- Most employees who report burnout (62 percent) feel comfortable telling their manager or employer they feel burned out.
- The top causes of burnout include workload (48 percent), staff shortages (45 percent) juggling personal and professional lives (39 percent), a lack of communication and support (38 percent), and time pressures (29 percent).
- When asked how to reduce burnout, 72 percent said a four-day work week would help. Other solutions included increased flexibility (69 percent), decreased workload (64 percent), better health and wellness (61 percent), working from home (61 percent), reduced administrative burdens (55 percent), more on-site amenities (53 percent), and the ability to relocate or work from multiple locations (42 percent).
- The research also signals that the Great Resignation is likely to linger, as more than one-third of the workforce (36 percent) plans to leave their job in the next 12 months, up from 34 percent in April 2022. The planned departure rates are even higher for younger workers (46 percent for 18 to 34-year-old workers), followed by mid-career workers (37 percent for 35 to 54-year-old workers), and at 23 percent for those 55 and older.
Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of Strategy & Performance, Talent, and Change. The company’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions to unique challenges spans across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. A leading authority on employee sentiment, Eagle Hill is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, with employees across the U.S. and offices in Boston and Seattle.