Worker burnout: Which occupations had the highest pandemic stress levels?

Worker burnout: Which occupations had the highest pandemic stress levels?

Hairdresser cutting hair with scissors.

More than half of full-time workers in Ireland are experiencing burnout, according to a new survey, with charity and healthcare workers reporting the highest stress levels, while those in the health and beauty sector are the least overwhelmed.

The research, which surveyed over 1,000 full-time employees across the country, assessed their stress levels, their primary causes of that stress and how it impacted their performance in work.

Results found that 52% of respondents were experiencing a burnout in work.

When asked what impact Covid-19 and lockdown had on job burnout, two-thirds (66%) believe it has impacted them negatively by raising their stress levels.

However, 18% of people surveyed said that the pandemic has had a positive impact on work-life, allowing a better work and life balance, while also the added bonus of less commuting.

The survey findings also show that some industries are more prone to burnout than others.

Individuals working in industries with frequent deadlines, high levels of public interaction and heightened risk of physical harm were more likely to report feelings of burnout.

Despite the major impact of lockdowns on those working in hair and beauty, those working in the industry reported the lowest levels of burnout, with just one in 10 (9%) individuals expressing that the stress of their job had been overwhelming.

The industries revealed to have the highest burnout rates were following charities involving social work, emergency responses, healthcare workers and those working within communications.

Other industries with the lowest burnout levels were those who worked in third-level education, construction, telecommunications, and the entertainment and recreation industries.

The highest level of burnout was experienced by those aged between 18-24 with 58%, followed by 35-40 year olds (57%), 57-66 year olds (52%) and those aged 41-56 (39%).

The top reasons given for such burnout were cited as pressure being ‘always on’ (27%), unmanageable workload (24%), lack of control over work (16%), lack of support from manager (13%), unfair treatment (10%), inadequate pay (5%) and other reasons (5%).

The survey was conducted by Lahinch HRLocker, and CEO  Adam Coleman, said with the shift to hybrid working, the distinction between work time and personal time is likely to remain an issue for the foreseeable future, as is employee anxiety over office work and health and safety.

“Now, more than ever, organisations must take effective measures to support their employees.

“Introducing processes to monitor workload, putting employee support structures in place and establishing a constructive, two-way dialogue with their teams, leveraging technology to empower their people and reduce admin,” he said.

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