Covid-19 causing a burnout epidemic

New data by OC Tanner has revealed that the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is causing a different kind of global crisis – that of employee burnout.

According to its 2021 Global Culture Report – which surveyed 40,000 employees – Coronavirus has increased rates of burnout by 15% globally, while it rises by up to 81% in what it calls ‘non-thriving’ company cultures.

Burnout was reclassified as an ‘occupational disease’ by World Health Organization in 2019, and according to OC Tanner signs of it being a problem include increased absenteeism and work avoidance.

Results of the OC Tanner poll confirm this, finding that UK workers took 68% more days off than normal in order to avoid work, while 53% of employees admitted they now “dreaded” doing their work.

In addition, of those surveyed 38% admitted that things they used to tolerate were now starting to bother them. Nearly half (48%) confessed that they had nothing more to give in their job.

The results of the research come out ahead of this coming Monday – which has been dubbed National Sickie Day – the date when, statistically, more people call in sick.

Commenting on the findings Robert Ordever, managing director of workplace culture expert, OC Tanner Europe, said: “Workers have been dealing with the immense emotional, social and financial challenges brought about by the Coronavirus fallout, and so many will be suffering from anxiety at best and severe burnout at worst.”

He added: “More than ever, workers need support and understanding from their organisations.”

According to OC Tanner, those who have high levels of staff engagement are better equipped to prevent burnout. The research found companies with ‘thriving cultures’ are currently experiencing just a 1% drop in engagement. For non-thriving cultures, this figure is a massive 52%.

Ordever said: “Organisations need to take a long, hard look at their cultures if they’re being badly affected by staff absences and poor engagement rates.” He added: “When workers feel valued, respected, cared for and a sense of belonging, then burnout and absenteeism are dramatically reduced.”