Saturday, May 15, 2021

Mental Health – The Pandemic Has Highly Intensified Job Burnout Rate

Most employees are facing extreme job burnout amid the widespread crisis, claims a recent study by FlexJobs and Mental Health America.

Business leaders are deliberately taking the lead to keep employees productive and focused amid the remote working norms or in-office. However, most employees are exhausted and encountering job burnouts like never before. This is primarily because of increased workloads and shrinking work-life balance.

The latest study from FlexJobs and Mental Health America (MHA) has revealed that globally, nearly 75% of professionals have experienced burnout. Among the surveyed participants, a majority has indicated this as the direct repercussions of the pandemic and its related crisis.

With a vast majority of employees working remotely, working at home has drastically become longer hours – claimed around 37% of the respondents. Basically, this is a mere indication of starting a workday earlier and ending up late.

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Unsurprisingly, it is majorly due to the dull line between being online and working online. With the pandemic-induced new normal, there has been a tendency to checking and responding to work emails upon waking up. These continue even beyond work times.

Paul Gionfriddo, CEO and President at Mental Health America has mentioned in the company blog post – “Company leadership, including executives, HR, and management, have a responsibility to their employees to model and talk openly about behaviors that reduce stress, prevent burnout, and help employees establish the appropriate boundaries when working remotely.”

Among several contributing factors to this unprecedented burnout, the most common are disruptive responsibilities (work and household) all through the day. As per the restudy, some of the top worries among people are – COVID-19, current events, personal finances and crunches, concern for family’s health, the economy, and increased job responsibilities.

Experts noted that rigidity in work schedules is magnifying the conflicts between work and personal life, leading people to mental exhaustion. Boundaries seem to be blurring and work time is eating into family or me-time.

As a result, many organizations are offering flexible work time to their employees to reduce burnout and tackle the ongoing phase. The report found many workers are seeking flexibility, paid time off, and mental-health days or consultation.

Whether it is heavier workload or situational stress, employees who are operating remotely and those who have started going to the office – are three times more likely to face poor mental health.

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Nearly 42% of the respondents (employed) and around 47% (unemployed) reported their stress levels as “high” and “very high”. Most professionals agreed that work-stress is having a high impact on their mental health, leading to depression as well as anxiety.

It was also found that people are a little confused about who they should be approaching with the accumulating and existing burnout. Are they supposed to speak to the human resources department or their bosses? Shockingly, only 21% noted that they could have an open, productive discussion with the HR department. Nearly 56% of employees revealed that their HR departments didn’t encourage conversations on stress or burnout.

As cited by Carol Cochran, VP of People & Culture at FlexJobs in the report – “One of the most important things workers can do is to set clear boundaries between their work time and non-work time, and HR needs to take an active role in helping workers practice healthy boundaries between their professional and personal lives…Leaders should strive to create a healthy company culture that values the individual as a person, and prioritizes the overall wellness of its workers.”

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