Survey: Workers Stressed to the Max

Nancy Grover

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – While there may be ‘no crying in baseball,’ that famous movie mantra doesn’t hold true for other occupations these days. Sixty-one percent of workers say they have cried before, during, or after work since the pandemic began.

The vast majority of workers — 80 percent — say workplace burnout has prevented them from focusing on work; 82 percent feel they have to be ‘always on’ at work; and more than half — 56 percent — say burnout has prevented them from going to work. The findings from a new survey show the dramatic impacts of the changes in work due to the coronavirus.

“Burnout can be defined as ‘a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress,”’ says a new report from Verilife. “While these signs and symptoms aren’t new to anyone, the term itself has become popularized within the last year after the World Health Organization categorized burnout as a ‘syndrome,’ which can be linked to chronic workplace stress.”

In an effort to better understand how Americans are affected by burnout, the company surveyed 2,000 people in October about their experiences with burnout, symptoms, and how they are coping. They found, for example, that people are searching the Internet for signs of burnout and remedies. Five states in particular — California, Oregon, Kentucky, Virginia and Indiana were among the top where residents are going online to find solutions.

Mental and physical exhaustion were prevalent among 92 percent of the respondents, with most saying they experience symptoms at least once per week. ‘Covid-19′ was cited as the primary reason for burnout, followed by work, finances, politics, the news, social media, civil unrest and lack of socializing.

The stress is also taking a toll on the workplace – including for those who work remotely.

“Among those who work remotely, 67% say they feel burned out due to working from home and 57% say they’re putting in longer hours since working from home,” the report says. “Regardless of where they work, one-third feel their job is toxic and one-third have felt less productive at work since the pandemic.”

‘Working remotely’ was cited as the third most common cause of workplace burnout, behind ‘pressure to put in extra work,’ and ‘not taking PTO.’ More than one-third of those surveyed said they fear being furloughed and/or laid off. Additional reasons cited for workplace burnout were ‘stressful manager/boss,’ ‘stressful coworkers,’ and ‘toxic work culture.’

The authors cited ‘use of cannabis’ as one of the ways people are coping with their current stress, with one-third saying their have used CBD or cannabis, or considered its use. Other remedies to cope with burnout were:

  • Watching Netflix, Hulu
  • Exercising
  • Sleeping/napping
  • Listening to music
  • Talking to friends/family
  • Surfing the Internet
  • Reading
  • Misc. hobbies

“Life is all about balance and it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of burnout early on before they build up,” the authors advised. “Simple steps like taking time to relax and re-energize can go a long way when it comes to preventing burnout and combating stress in your life.”

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