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UK survey explores worker burnout during COVID-19 pandemic

Photo: FG Trade/iStockphoto

London — Employee burnout is most likely to occur at age 32, according to the results of a recent survey out of the United Kingdom.

On behalf of The Office Group, a provider of flexible design-led workspaces, public relations company 72Point surveyed a nationally representative cohort of 2,000 adult workers about job-related factors that cause burnout – especially during the country’s lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was conducted between Aug. 27 and Sept. 3.

Among millennials, the top three causes of burnout are working longer hours (59%), inability to separate work and personal life (42%), and an uncertain job market (33%), according to a Sept. 21 press release from TOG. Among workers 50 and older, 48% reported not being able to take “a proper break” since the lockdown began.

Other findings:

  • 51% of respondents said they’re working outside of their contracted hours, with the average worker putting in an extra 59 hours over the previous five months.
  • 32% said the lockdown has pushed them closer to burnout.
  • 27% indicated that a lack of social interaction was making the time especially difficult.

Despite their added stress during this time, 69% of the workers said their employer isn’t offering ways to improve their work-life balance or well-being. To fight burnout, 22% of the respondents want their employers to offer wellness and mindfulness classes.

Tips from TOG to help prevent burnout and spot the signs of heightened stress and exhaustion at work include:

  • Make clear distinctions between day and nighttime routines.
  • Set aside “must-dos” for the day and write them down.

“With almost a third of people saying lockdown has brought them closer to burnout, there is no question the pandemic has greatly impacted the nation’s collective mental health,” Sarah Vohra, a psychiatrist and mental health and wellness expert, said in the release. “Companies must put defenses in place and guard against elements which might cause stress and anxiety, and looking forward, they must make robust changes to ensure employees are protected, particularly during times of uncertainty.”

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