4 In 10 U.S. Workers Report Increased Burnout, Robert Half Research Shows

 – May 10, 2022
4 In 10 U.S. Workers Report Increased Burnout, Robert Half Research Shows
  • 70 percent of professionals with flexible schedules are putting in longer hours now versus pre-pandemic
  • More than one-third of employees are hesitant to discuss burnout with their boss

Burnout is a growing issue for many workers, including those who have flexible schedules, new research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. In a survey of more than 2,400 professionals in the U.S., 41% of respondents said they are more burned out now than a year ago. Results are nearly unchanged from a similar 2021 poll, suggesting more must be done to support employees' mental health and well-being.

Robert Half research shows burnout is a growing issue for many workers, including those who have flexible schedules.

Those most likely to report a rise in burnout include:

  • Gen Z professionals (47 percent)
  • Technology workers (44 percent)
  • Women (43 percent)
  • Employees who have been with their company for 2-9 years (43 percent)
  • Professionals based in Boston (50 percent), Charlotte (50 percent) and San Diego (48 percent)

At the same time, 35 percent of workers are uneasy about expressing feelings of burnout with their manager.

"It's concerning that many professionals continue to feel increased burnout, even as companies are hiring to help manage workloads and business demands," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. "Spotting signs of burnout can be harder when employees are working remotely, so it's especially important for managers to establish regular check-ins, set expectations and encourage staff to speak up if they're feeling overwhelmed."

When Schedule Flexibility Backfires

More than three-quarters of professionals (78 percent) said they have the ability to set their own schedule, but among those respondents, 70 percent are working more hours than they were before the pandemic. Three-quarters of employees overall (74 percent) are putting in 40 or more hours a week.

"As more people stray from the typical 9-to-5, employees may feel greater pressure to be available at all hours of the day," McDonald added. "Establishing rules of engagement — such as sharing your general availability and communicating clear deadlines — can help workers re-establish boundaries and reclaim their personal time."