Nearly 40% of workers have experienced burnout: Report

The World Health Organization deemed burnout an “occupational phenomenon” in May 2019.

Denette Wilford 2 minute read May 22, 2022

A new report says nearly half of Canadian workers have experienced burnout, suggesting more needs to be done to support employees’ mental health and well-being.

The World Health Organization deemed burnout an “occupational phenomenon” in May 2019, something that worsened following more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s no surprise that Canadian workers continue to battle the burn.

In a survey of more than 500 professional adults in Canada working at companies with 20 or more employees — conducted by business consulting firm Robert Half — 38% of respondents said they are more burned out now than a year ago.

“Many Canadian employees are still battling burnout, despite companies’ efforts to hire permanent and contract talent to support growing business demands,” said David King, Canadian senior managing director of Robert Half.

“The labour market remains incredibly tight and now, more than ever, managers need to focus on the health and wellness of their teams and take steps to reduce work-related stress,” he continued. “This includes scheduling ongoing check-ins, prioritizing critical work and maintaining a culture that encourages employees to share if they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.”

It may not be entirely in the power of the employer. The data showed that 45% of employees are hesitant to bring up the topic of burnout with their boss.

Those most likely to report a rise in burnout include millennials, women, employees who have been with their company for two-to-four years, and professionals based in Calgary and Vancouver.

Burnout continues to be an issue for many workers, including those who have flexible schedules, proving the ability to set one’s own schedule isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be.

Of the respondents who do have flex schedules, 74% admitted to working more hours than they were prior to the pandemic, while 60% said they put in 40 or more hours a week.

“For some employees, schedule flexibility has created a sense that they need to be available at all times, making it more challenging to fully disconnect from work,” King explained.

“It’s important for managers to lead by example and demonstrate a true commitment to work-life balance, including proactively encouraging staff to prioritize personal commitments and take breaks and time off.”

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