Voice of the Employee

New data has revealed employees’ overall happiness has increased, but there are signs that they are experiencing rising levels of poor mental health and burnout.

The findings from employee engagement platform provider Glint first Employee wellbeing report revealed happiness was 5.4% higher in December 2020 compared to December 2019. It suggested this might be due to staff appreciating the allowances some employers had made for them. But the quarterly change to those reporting burnout increased by 4%, with staff saying they want better wellness programmes to help them.

According to the data, the reasons employees felt ‘burned out’ were due to feeling disconnected from colleagues (41%); having an overwhelming workload (38%); dealing with home and work demands (35%) and there being ‘little or no acknowledgement’ of their good work (26%).

The research also revealed women were experiencing burnout more than men, with females citing they have an overwhelming workload 20% more often than men.

Commenting on the findings, Glint’s head of people science strategic development, Amy Lavoie (pictured), said: “When it comes to the prevailing burnout precursors, it’s clear we’re all still grappling with the question: How do we create connection for people in a virtual- and hybrid-work world?”

She added: “Assuming a return to physical offices will re-establish connections among co-workers is not the answer. We know through our research that employees want flexibility in where they work. A one-size-fits-all approach is a thing of the past.”

Steven Buck, head of people science, EMEA at Glint, said: “Faced with profound changes to their day-to-day lives, including severe restrictions on social contact, enforced working from home, home schooling, worries about health and future uncertainty, feelings of burnout and mental exhaustion will continue to climb.”

He added: “Employers must pay careful attention to their own and their team’s emotions and wellbeing.”

The data found manufacturing had the highest level of burnout. It showed a year-on-year rise of 86%; followed by increases in sectors including business services (up 38%); technology (up 35%) and financial services (up 34%).

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