- In a recent survey from Eagle Hill, employees weighed in on ways to reduce burnout. The top suggestions all included a break in number or type of hours worked or workload: 84% percent said increased flexibility, 83% said a four-day workweek and 82% said a reduced workload.
- Burnout remains a serious problem among workers. Fifty-six percent of women said they're burned out, along with 51% of men. The younger the worker demographic, the more likely they were to report burnout, with 62% of the 18-34 demographic reporting burnout.
- The survey also found that the Great Resignation remains in full swing; one-third of employees said they planned to leave their organization within a year, up from 26% in November 2020 and 29% in May 2021.
The Great Resignation appears driven by a positive feedback loop: as workers become stressed and quit, and as employers search fruitlessly for hires, remaining workers take on even more work, become burned out, and also consider moving on. (Or, without the option to quit or the energy to search for another job, they put in the bare minimum.)
"Both employers and employees are near the breaking point. Employers are struggling to find workers, and employees are stressed at work," Melissa Jezior, president and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting, said in a statement, adding that things will likely get worse before they get better. "The so-called Great Resignation means that employers must start a Great Re-Evaluation, re-thinking everything from their culture to how work gets done."
In other words, at a certain point, workplaces may have to weigh employees' mental health against productivity.
A recent study from consulting firm Robert Half suggests that providing more leave alone would likely not be sufficient to reduce burnout; while nearly a third of managers surveyed said they didn't mind if employees worked fewer than 40 hours per week if they finished their work, 72% of employees said they needed at least eight hours a day to get their work done.
These findings go hand in hand with an August report from Visier in which employees said vacation didn't alleviate burnout, due to feeling pressure to "check in" while gone and having to play catch-up upon their return.
Companies are experimenting with different ways to handle the burnout crisis. Over the spring and summer, Bumble, LinkedIn and Hootsuite were among those that provided a companywide week off to encourage employees to rest. Having all employees off at once was intended to remove the pressure to check in and the stress of getting behind.
Culture is a major factor as well. Zoom's chief people officer, Lynne Oldham, previously told HR Dive that the company has kept its high rate of employee satisfaction through the pandemic by maintaining a culture of trust and communication. It also gave employees a chance to weigh in on benefits and asked what they needed to reduce stress.