Reducing employee burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s driving employee burnout during COVID-19 and what employers can do about it.

Employee burnout has skyrocketed to 58 percent, according to research by Eagle Hill Consulting. It’s up from 45 percent in the early days of the pandemic and over a third of workers attribute their burnout to circumstances related to COVID-19, up from 25 percent in April.

“This level of burnout is problematic and could increase as millions of employees continue to work from home, and many schools remain unable to fully open. We’re in this pandemic for the long haul, and employers have got to find a way to make workloads sustainable for employees and better equip managers to lead. Otherwise, companies risk harming their bottom line and brand,” said Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting.

Reducing Employee Burnout During the COVID-19 Pandemic

These are the top five drivers of employee burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic that Eagle Hill Consulting identified in their recent research:

  • 47 percent of employees say their burnt out from their workload.
  • 39 percent say it’s from balancing work and their personal life.
  • 37 percent say it stems from a lack of communication, feedback and support.
  • 30 percent say they’re under time pressures and expectations are unclear.
  • 28 percent point to performance expectations.

Research from Yale University found that employees experiencing burnout reported high demands and high resources while employees who were ‘optimally’ engaged reported low to moderate demands and high resources. ‘Optimally’ engaged employees had support from their supervisors through rewards and received recognition without having to struggle with cumbersome bureaucracy, demands for concentration, or heavy workloads. 

Many organizations are adapting to remote workforces during the pandemic and it’s important that they manage their expectations during the transition and provide workers with resources they need to thrive in a work-from-home environment.  

Employers that want to reduce the negative impact employee burnout has on productivity, employee engagement, job satisfaction and rentention should monitor workloads and common signs of burnout (exhaustion, frustration, anxiety, inability to keep up with daily tasks) to find out when it’s time to dial demands back and expand resources. The addition of wellness programs can ease stress and help employees better maintain a work-life balance, but if demands are too high employees will still burnout.

More on Topics Related to Employee Burnout and the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Coronavirus 2020: Effectively Working from Home

The Caregiver Crisis at Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic

How to Build Remote Work Culture to Support Virtual Teams