Half of American workers say they are suffering from burnout and would favor a four-day working week. The pressure is felt most among younger workers, with six out of 10 feeling the stress of being so overloaded with work that they are near a breaking point, according to a recent poll.
These feelings are helping to fuel The Great Resignation; more than a third of the workforce plan to quit their jobs in the next year.
The situation is something of a perfect storm. Workers feel they are being worked too hard, but a labor shortage makes it difficult for a company to hire more workers to relieve that stress.
The poll, conducted for Eagle Hill Consulting, also found that more than half of the workers in the survey say the pandemic has led them to re-evaluate their priorities.
Breaking point nearRead More »
Jezlor suggests that the situation in the workforce will become worse before it improves with as many as a third of the workers planning to leave their jobs in the near future. The Great Resignation means that employers should undertake a Great Re-Evaluation, she suggests. They should rethink all aspects of the working environment, from the company culture to how the work gets done.
Even before the pandemic hit, worker burnout was simmering, Jezlor adds. Now it has boiled over for more than half of the workforce even as the labor shortage continues.
Such a situation is unsustainable for a business. It is complicated, she adds, as a four-day work week might work in some companies, but it would be impossible in others.
Here are some of the major findings in the poll, which was conducted by Ipsos:
• Age groups
Workers aged 18 to 34 are suffering the most from a feeling of being burned out, with 62 percent saying they feel that way. Some 58 percent of mid-career workers aged 35 to 54 feel burned out. Among those 55 and older, the feeling of burnout is expressed by only a third.
More than half of the workers surveyed said workload was the main reason for their feelings of being burned out. In the next spot was a lack of communication (44 percent), followed by having to juggle work and their personal lives (35 percent), and pressures of time (32 percent).
Nearly a third of the workers felt that their employers did not make it clear what was expected of them. A quarter felt unconnected to their fellow workers or the company and its values, vision, and culture. About two in every 10 felt they were not empowered by their employers.
When workers were asked how their feelings of being burned out could be reduced, eight out of 10 said a four-day work week would be a big help. The number was highest among younger workers and women.
Other options that were raised included more flexibility (84 percent), a decreased workload (82 per cent), followed by better health and wellness options (78 percent).
Workers also cited working from home and the ability to work from a number of different locations as ways to help them cope with the stress.
A third of those workers surveyed said they plan to quit their jobs in the next year. The figure is an increase on a year ago when a quarter of those polled said they would do so, and a little more than the 29 percent who gave that answer in a survey in May 2021.
The plans to quit are higher for those workers aged 18 to 34, four in every 10 of whom have such plans, than those aged 35 to 54 among whom a third have such plans. Among those workers aged more than 55 only two in 10 have plans to resign within the next year.
• Pandemic impact
More than half of all those workers in the poll said that the pandemic has caused them to re-evaluate their careers as well as their lives. Younger workers were most moved to rethink their personal priorities, a third of whom said the pandemic has led them to a situation where they were thinking of changing their careers. A third were led by the pandemic to consider changing their place of employment and two in 10 were prompted to think of moving home as a result.
An interesting twist in the poll was that two-thirds of all workers said they value their employers more since the pandemic hit.
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