Nearly 4 in 10 people report rising burnout


Burnout is a problem that just won’t go away, new research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. In a survey of 1,132 professionals in Canada, 36 per cent of respondents reported being more burned out now than a year ago. Workers said the most common factors contributing to burnout today are:

  1. Heavy workloads (54 per cent)
  2. Lack of communication and support from management (29 per cent)
  3. Toxic organizational culture (26 per cent)

Those with the highest burnout levels include:

  • Gen Z and millennials
  • Employees who have been with their company for 2-4 years
  • Working parents

“Burnout is a serious issue that needs to be combatted with ongoing efforts”, said David King, Senior Managing Director, Robert Half, Canada and South America. “Though many companies have made strides in supporting employee well-being, it’s clear that there is work to be done, and many teams are still stretched thin. This pressure may be exacerbated right now as some businesses are hesitant to bring on new staff, while maintaining their project load.”

Combatting Burnout Culture

The research shows more must be done to promote a healthy workplace culture. Nearly four in 10 professionals (39 per cent) feel uneasy about expressing feelings of burnout with their manager. Further, 23 per cent said their manager hasn’t taken steps to help them alleviate work-related stress. Those who are receiving support have been:

  • Encouraged to take time off (22 per cent)
  • Provided greater schedule flexibility (17 per cent)
  • Given guidance on prioritizing projects (16 per cent)

Unplugging Is Key

Work breaks are essential for restoring energy and focus and preventing burnout. While 32 per cent of professionals plan to use more vacation days this summer compared to last summer, 20 per cent still feel they can’t take time off, either because they have too much work or worry it will impact their job security. Another 18 per cent of employees will be checking in with work frequently when on vacation.

“Employees are happier, more productive, and less at risk of burnout when they have had the chance to properly unplug and find balance in their personal and professional lives,” added King. “Managers should be modeling good behaviours in this area, and setting realistic expectations, while encouraging their teams to take time off, and truly disconnect.”

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