Employee Burnout is on the Rise

Chriss Swaney

Pittsburgh, PA (WorkersCompensation.com) — A combination of COVID and social distancing has made burnout a key to why many workers are looking for new jobs, according to new research by the Hartford, a leading provider of employee benefits. And burnout is more evident in female workers, the research said.

“This growing gap in burnout between men and women in the workplace should send alarm signals to business leaders,” said Robert Strauss, a professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College. The Hartford’s Future of Benefits Pulse survey found 68 percent of female workers now report burnout at work compared to 52 percent of male workers – a 16 percentage point difference.

But Sarah Burridge, a recently retired travel agent, said burnout is much higher than most experts believe.

“I was a crispy critter by the time I was ready to retire,” she said. “I was totally burned out and had days of anxiety before deciding to retire,” said Burridge, who worked from her Wisconsin home.

Experts contend that there is a need for flexibility in the workplace because the lines between work and home continue to be blurred.

“Fostering an open, inclusive work environment is an important step in addressing burnout,” said Burridge.

Still others stress the need for more specialized help for burnout victims like attending special workouts at spas and gyms to relieve stress gradually under the guidance of trained professionals.

Pamela Wolff, owner of OsteoStrong in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty section of town, said stress impacts us down to our very bones.

“Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, interferes with bone remodeling by reducing the production of new bone material and increases the breakdown of bone tissues. This releases calcium into the bloodstream which is the body’s effort to balance the effect of the cortisol, and return the body to a neutral state. When stress is chronic, the body can’t recover and the bones lose density over time,” sad Wolff, a peer educator for American bone health. She recommends a regimen of guided health exercises with skilled technicians like herself.

Burned-out U.S. workers are also more likely to look for a new job, the research unveiled. Nearly two-thirds of workers are on the hunt these days for a new job, and they are getting them. Nearly nine out of 10 company executives say they are seeing higher than normal turnover at their organizations, according to a new study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Strauss also thinks that the complex political climate now swirling throughout the country has made workers anxious and uncertain.

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