- Nearly half of all workers feel burned out at work, and many of them feel like they can't stop working even when they take vacations, a Comparably report showed. Survey results showed that women were more likely than men to feel burned out across occupations, except in product and sales jobs. Workers with 3 to 6 years on the job were the most burned out of respondents, at 46%.
- Around a quarter of respondents said they receive 20 to 30 days of sick time or paid vacation a year, with the second most common choice being between 15 and 20 days. Nineteen percent of respondents reported receiving unlimited time off, and nearly a third of respondents said their boss pesters them with work while they are on vacation. Around 40% of those in business development, legal and the executive suite admitted that their work is never done, even during a vacation.
- When asked which work benefits they valued the most, respondents chose work-life balance. Only 8% said it was less important than compensation. Respondents in legal, design and business development picked work-life balance as the second most important work benefit.
Comparably's survey doesn't address the causes of burnout, but according to a growing canon of studies on the topic, workloads are accountable for much of workers' stress. The World Health Organization recently listed burnout as an "occupational phenomenon" in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases, reflecting growing concern on the topic.
Studies found that workers already don't take off enough of their allotted time or have trouble unplugging from the office while away, despite the clear benefits on engagement that a week of vacation can bestow. Among employees who take a week or more of vacation, 70% of those surveyed said they're driven to contribute to their organization's success, compared with the 55% who don't regularly vacation, an O.C. Tanner survey found.
Company culture plays a large role in whether employees feel they can manage their burnout effectively — and much of culture is tied up in whether employees have good managers. The survey respondents who said their bosses bothered them with work while vacationing exemplify how managers may exacerbate burnout. Workers may feel the strain of worker shortages in the summer, but good managers ensure a team plans ahead and gives their direct reports the power to work through their time-off conflicts. To enable managers to do so, HR must ensure a written vacation policy is in place and that ground rules are clearly communicated to all workers. That way, managers are certain of objectives and employees feel they have the freedom to take the time they need when they need it.