A year after COVID-19 struck and dramatically changed how people work, employees are now dealing with a new meltdown of job burnout.
Some 41% of U.S. employees feel burnt out from work, but only 17% say their company addresses employee mental health, a new survey by Clever Real Estate. The extra stress comes after the devastating pandemic left many laborers overwhelmed, drained, and often uneasy about work. A whopping 87% of employees say their job affects their mental health.
The collapse is causing 37% of employees to struggle with job-related stress that often disturbs their life outside of work. The top causes of employee burnout are workload (47%), balancing work and personal life (39%), and lack of communication, feedback, and support at work (37%).
While it is not unheard of for people to feel bushed from work, the repercussions can be deep-seated. Consider that burnt-out employees are 13% less assured in their performance and 23% are more likely to visit the emergency room, Gallup studies show. Plus, the breakdown hurts the bottom line and productivity big time. In fact, general job stress costs U.S. companies more than $300 billion annually.
Clever surveyed 1,000 Americans recently who are now working from home for a company that has office space or working in an office most of the time. Clever Real Estate is an education platform for homebuyers, sellers, and investors.
Clever’s Francesca Ortegren, the report’s lead researcher, says Black employees might be more susceptible to burnout and feeling like they can’t take time off for multiple reasons.
For one, Black employees tend to work in jobs with less opportunity for advancement, so they have to work harder and more often to see raises or promotions. And even when the opportunity exists, Black employees are considered less often by managers for promotion, especially Black women. Black Americans tend to earn less and have less overall wealth than white Americans. That means they may have to work more hours and avoid taking time off to make ends meet. The above contributes to stress—both in and out of the workplace—that increase the possibility of burnout and negative effects on mental health,” Ortegren says.
Remote work and people taking paid or personal time off were among other key survey findings. Ortegren says her firm expected remote workers to feel more burnout from work but actually found that they’re happier with their work-life balance than in-office workers. Remote workers reported improvements in work-life balance, work stress, job satisfaction, overall happiness, and mental health over the last year.
She says another shocking survey finding was the number of (PTO) days employees do not take. On average, respondents said they ended 2020 with seven unused vacation days despite vacation policies being one of the most important benefits when people search for a job.
Hence, Ortegren says people’s reasoning for leaving PTO unused was troubling: many don’t take time off because they have too heavy a workload. Or perhaps they are worried they’ll miss out on an important work opportunity like a raise or promotion), and might be perceived as lazy or not committed to their work by peers and management. She pointed out all suggest negative cultures around “the grind” that negatively impact people’s mental and physical health. Among other discoveries, the survey concluded minus a supportive company culture, burnt-out employees are unlikely to gain the work-life balance they need. Companies that neglect the issue can experience costly losses, troubling turnover, and an ailing workforce toiling to remain productive.