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The term “burnout” was first coined in the 1970s, but the concept of work-related exhaustion is nothing new. In fact, it’s been recognized as a problem for centuries.

The industrial revolution brought with it long hours and grueling working conditions, and in the early 20th century, psychologists began to study the effects of chronic stress on workers.

However, it wasn’t until recently that burnout was officially recognized as a syndrome. The World Health Organization classifies burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

It is characterized by three main dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.

While burnout is not a medical condition, it can lead to physical and mental health problems. In fact, studies have linked burnout to a variety of health concerns, including heart disease, anxiety, and depression.

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing unprecedented levels of stress at work, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the signs of burnout and take steps to prevent it.

Key Burnout Stats, Trends, and Facts

  • At some point in their professional lives, two-thirds of full-time employees report having experienced burnout.
  • There has been an increase in the number of cases of workplace burnout.
  • More than a third of employees say their workplaces have no plans in place to prevent burnout.

Employee Burnout Statistics

Burnout is more common in women than in men.
Only 28 percent of men reported feeling burned out at work in 2020, compared to 32 percent of women.
More than half of women in leadership positions report feeling exhausted on a consistent basis.
47 percent of mothers and 38 percent of fathers are frequently exhausted at the end of a long workday.
Gen Z (58 percent), Generation X (54%), and Millennials (59 percent) all reported similar levels of burnout in February 2021, while Baby Boomers (31 percent) reported significantly lower rates.
Employee burnout is influenced to a lesser extent by income. There was 44 percent of those earning between $30,000 and $60,000 who reported feeling burned out. 
There was a 38 percent rate of burnout among those making more than $100,000.

Demographics Statistics

57 percent of workers believe that they must be available to their employers at all times.
Burnout is seventy percent more common among workers who feel undervalued by their bosses.
When employees are subjected to unreasonable time constraints, they are 70% more likely to succumb to burnout.
More than six out of ten employees who are suffering from burnout are more likely to take a sick day and visit the emergency room.

Causes and Effects of Burnout Statistics

According to 75% of senior HR leaders, one of the most effective ways to prevent employee burnout is to allow flexible working hours.
43% of employees believe that in order to prevent burnout, their employers should provide paid time off and mental health days.
In order to avoid burnout, employees need help managing their workloads from their bosses.
Workers who have a strong ally at work are 40% less likely to burn out.

Solutions to Burnout Statistics

  • When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it had a profound effect on the world. More than half the workforce will work from home by 2020, blurring the line between work and personal life.

Remote Work Burnout Statistics

The COVID-19 pandemic shifted how the world does works. 40 percent to 60 percent of the United States workforce worked remotely throughout 2020, muddying the line between work and life.

Before COVID-19 Shutdowns

  • For 22% of remote workers, it was difficult to “unplug” from work.

During COVID-19 Shutdowns

It was difficult for 61 percent of remote workers during the pandemic to disconnect from their devices.
Throughout the year 2020, remote workers reported significantly higher levels of anxiety and stress than their non-remote counterparts.
Almost three-quarters of remote workers admitted to working on the weekends.

Burnout Statistics by Industry 

Each industry offers unique challenges and stresses, and it’s no surprise that high-stress jobs have higher burnout rates.

Social Work

  • Social workers have a burnout rate of up to 75% over the course of their careers due to compassion fatigue and dealing with secondary trauma.

Law

  • Lawyers in the United Kingdom were worried about burnout at a recent survey, with 73% saying they were concerned. Work-life balance issues, difficult clients, strained working relationships, and constant interruptions were some of the factors that led to the resignation.

Business Development and Sales

  • Business development and sales workers were found to be close to experiencing burnout because of long work hours, a heavy workload, and the feeling that they had to “always be on.”

Retail

  • Most retail workers plan to leave their jobs in the summer of 2021, according to a survey by CareerBuilder.com. Due to low wages, long workdays and unusual schedules, and lack of recognition and appreciation, 58 percent of employees stated that burnout was the most common reason for leaving their jobs.

Tech

  • Burnout is common in the tech industry because of ineffective management, excessive workloads, and an unhealthy work environment. Twenty-five out of the thirty largest tech companies surveyed reported burnout rates of 50% or higher.

Medicine

  • 44% of doctors say they’re burnt out. Administrative duties, long work hours, and the increased use of electronic health records are all common reasons.

Emergency Response

  • Witnessing human suffering and dealing with negative outcomes is a common occurrence for emergency responders. They may also be frequently put at risk for personal injury. Burnout occurs at rates ranging from 15% to nearly 40% in this high-stress industry.

Education

  • Witnessing human suffering and dealing with negative outcomes is a common occurrence for emergency responders. They may also be frequently put at risk for personal injury. Burnout occurs at rates ranging from 15% to nearly 40% in this high-stress industry.

Cost of Burnout Statistics

  • 550 million working days are lost each year because of stress at work.
  • Stress at work costs the United States economy $500 billion each year.
  • Depression-related absenteeism and productivity losses cost the United States $51 billion a year.

Latest Employee Burnout Statistics

  • In the United States, 67 percent of workers believe that the pandemic exacerbated burnout.
  • An Indeed survey conducted before COVID found that 43 percent of respondents reported feeling worn out. In 2021, that figure had risen to 52% of the population.

Conclusion

No longer just a trendy term, burnout is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue. However, this isn’t necessary. For a company’s sake, it’s best to have contented and healthy workers.

In order to prevent employees from burning out, employers must promote work-life balance and implement strategies such as flexible work schedules and hiring managers with a variety of experience and expertise.

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