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‘New pressures’ prompt rise in work-related burnout, survey finds

Photo: Twomeows_IS/iStockphoto

Menlo Park, CA — Thirty-four percent of employees say they’re more burned out than they were a year ago, according to the results of a recent survey developed by global staffing firm Robert Half.

The online survey of 2,800 office workers, conducted from July 7 to Aug. 9, also found that:

  • Among the respondents who said they were feeling more burned out, 30% said an increased workload was the primary cause.
  • 38% of women reported an increase in burnout, compared with 30% of men.
  • 37% of workers between the ages of 25 and 40 reported a rise in burnout, compared with 32% of counterparts 41 to 54 and 29% of workers 55 and older.

In an Oct. 8 press release, Robert Half Senior Executive Director Paul McDonald suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic “has piled on new pressures for professionals” while influencing them to accomplish more than their typical daily workload. Many employees are working from home, creating a balancing act between job and personal needs. In some cases, workers have assumed additional responsibilities that once belonged to colleagues who were laid off or furloughed.


Robert Half encourages managers to take the following actions to help address worker burnout:

  • Check in regularly with team members to discuss current projects and obstacles, being sure to help employees prioritize tasks.
  • Encourage time off.
  • Share helpful resources such as organizational wellness offerings.

“Just as employees have been putting in more time and energy into their jobs, employers must do more to support, engage and reward top performers in today’s demanding environment,” McDonald said.

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