95% of Canadian workers say they are burned out: Study

On the heels of the World Health Organization defining burnout as a syndrome resulting from workplace stress, a recent survey from staffing firm Accountemps found that nearly all senior managers in Canada (96 per cent) believe their team members are experiencing some degree of burnout.

In a separate survey, 95 per cent of Canadian workers said they’re at least somewhat burned out.

Burn baby burn, disco inferno! (CNW Group/Accountemps)
Burn baby burn, disco inferno! (CNW Group/Accountemps)

Senior managers were asked to report the level of burnout among employees on a scale of 1 (not at all burned out) to 10 (completely burned out), and the average was 5.7. One in five respondents rated their team’s burnout level 8 or higher. Workers cited an average burnout level of 5.6, with 22 per cent of respondents falling within the 8 to 10 range.

Workers and managers alike seem to agree burnout is an issue, but they don’t see eye to eye on the main reason.

When given a list of factors that may be contributing to employee burnout, workers ranked constant interruptions and putting out fires first, while senior managers believed unmanageable workloads were the biggest issue for their teams.

“Burnout can be a costly symptom of a workplace culture that doesn’t prioritize employee wellbeing; it’s detrimental to both the health of the individual and the business itself,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, district president for Accountemps.

“It’s in an organization’s best interest to proactively help their teams manage stress levels and prevent burnout. Frequent check-ins with staff to gauge workloads, flexibility with close deadlines and leading by example in encouraging staff to disengage from work after hours can help managers set the foundation for a more productive, positive and committed workforce.

“While there are things workers can do to combat stress throughout the day, including energizing walks with colleagues or simple desk-side stretches, employees need to speak with their supervisor if they feel mounting responsibilities have become overwhelming or unmanageable,” added Vasilopoulos.

Tips and strategies to help staff are featured in the Robert Half blog article, 6 Simple Ways to Prevent Workplace Burnout.

About the Research
The online surveys were developed by Accountemps and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 600 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees and more than 400 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in Canada.

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