Echoes of the stress we felt while in the throes of the pandemic are reverberating nearly three years later as we grapple with pre-recession workloads. We all feel it, and it’s not just our imaginations.
According to a workplace report by Aflac, Americans are more burnt out now than they were at the height of the pandemic.
The study’s results showed that more than half (59%) of American workers are experiencing at least moderate levels of burnout, a notable increase over 2021 (52%) and on par with the levels reported in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A major concern of employee burnout is the impact on their well-being and how it affects engagement and retention,” said Matthew Owenby, chief human resources officer, Aflac Incorporated in a news release. “Employers are looking for new ways to offer benefits that help improve their employees’ mental health balance. At Aflac, we help support our customers with access to mental health benefits, which is available through our individual short–term disability and group critical illness products.”
Employee burnout can partially be attributed to the Great Resignation and “quiet promotion” movement, in which employees quit their jobs in droves during 2021 and the early part of 2022, subsequently leaving remaining workers with more responsibilities and more work to cover the absences. Now, the load is taking its toll.
“Soaring health care costs, lack of understanding of benefits on health insurance policies and the economic downturn have contributed to employees’ anxiety about their insurance coverage,” said Owenby. “Hispanics and younger workers have been hard-hit by inflation with nearly half indicating that rising costs have driven them to choose between paying medical or other bills.”
Other key statistics include the following:
- Mental health negatively affected job performances of nearly half (46%) of the U.S. workforce in the past year — a significant increase over 2021 (34%).
- More than half (51%) of employers recognize that employee mental health issues have affected their businesses over the past year.
- Nearly 80% of employees state that mental health coverage is critical, yet only 61% have access to mental health care as part of their benefits package.