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Mental Health

31 Remote Employee Burnout Statistics 2022

August 23, 2022
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8 minutes

Remote work has been a growing trend for decades, but the pandemic has accelerated it's popularity. Check out there remote work statistics to better understand your team.

Nouran Smogluk
Remote work has been a growing trend for decades, but the pandemic has accelerated it's popularity. Check out there remote work statistics to better understand your team.

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Remote work has been a growing trend for decades. It all started in the 90s with telecommuting. Since then, companies around the world have been experimenting and learning how to best support a remote workforce.

In 2020, COVID threw a truckload of fuel on the remote work fire, leading to an unprecedented spike in remote workers. 

While some companies have opted to return to the office or adopted a hybrid approach, many have seen the huge benefits of remote working and are sticking with it for the foreseeable future. They’ve recognized how much employees appreciate the flexibility of remote work, and they’re doing their best to enable their team members.

While this is wonderful news, rates of burnout seem to have gone up significantly as well. 

Burnout happens everywhere, but it can be particularly difficult for remote workers to deal with. But how big of an issue is burnout among remote employees?

These recent employee burnout statistics will help you understand the full picture so you can best support your remote employees.

How prevalent is burnout?

  1. Burnout seems to be prevalent amongst remote workers, especially managers. In a survey of 350 remote managers, 63% of respondents said they had experienced burnout or mental health issues (Kona). 
  1. Burnout has been a growing issue for a number of years, but it’s clear that the pandemic has exacerbated that. In a survey of 1500 employees, 75% reported they had experienced burnout at work, with 40% saying they experienced burnout specifically during the pandemic (FlexJobs). 
  1. Monster’s July 2020 poll observed a steep increase in the proportion of remote workers suffering from pandemic burnout. 69% of workers reported experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home during COVID-19, a 35% increase from May 2020. (Monster). 
  1. One global survey found that the vast majority of those surveyed (92.3%) were experiencing some burnout, regardless of whether they worked remotely or not (Catalyst).

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Who is more likely to suffer from burnout?

  1. Higher levels of management tend to suffer from burnout more often. Burnout was highest among CXOs (78%) and VPs (81%) (Kona). 
  1. The pandemic seems to have impacted women more than men. Women are more likely than men to feel burned out at work (34% vs. 26%). Pre-pandemic, this gender gap was only about 3% (Gallup). 
  1. Another report indicates the same thing: women are feeling more burnt out than men. 42% of women said they were consistently burned out at work, while 35% of men reported feeling burned out (McKinsey & Company).
  1. Employees are also more likely to feel burned out if they’re also caring for young children. A study on parental burnout found that 68% of working moms are burned out compared to 42% of working dads (NCBI).

  2. Being thrown into remote work suddenly during the pandemic was a jarring experience. People working remotely full-time because of the pandemic are significantly more likely to experience burnout than those who worked remotely pre-pandemic, implying that the lack of choice in working remotely made a difference (Gallup).
  1. Those who work remotely are more likely to say burnout has worsened because of the pandemic (38%) than are those working in an office (28%). Companies that switched to remote work during the pandemic probably didn’t have the structures or processes in place to manage this change successfully (Indeed).
  1. People who have been working remotely for the last 18 months are more likely to be at risk of burnout (50%) than those who have been going to the workplace (41%) (Open Access Government). 

What are the causes of burnout?

  1. Before the pandemic, the top five causes of burnout were unfair treatment at work, unmanageable workload, lack of role clarity, lack of communication and support from the manager, and unreasonable time pressure (Gallup).
  1. The pandemic changed the causes of burnout. People are now more concerned with COVID-19, personal finances, current events, their family’s health, the economy. Job responsibilities are now last on the list (FlexJobs).
  1. Burnout doesn’t seem to be exclusively job-related anymore. Various stress factors contribute to feelings of burnout, ranging from finances (33% of respondents) to health concerns (25%) (Indeed).
  1. Because the pandemic threw people into working remotely, it became much harder to maintain a healthy separation between work and personal life. 46% of remote workers say they miss the clear boundaries that in-office work sets between their work and personal lives. This might be why people who began working remotely during the pandemic are more likely to experience burnout (Zippia).
  1. About 7 in 10 workers cited juggling their jobs and other responsibilities as a source of stress (AP News).
  1. 27% of survey respondents cannot unplug from work due to an inability to take time off or a lack of clear boundaries between the workplace and home (Indeed). 
  1. 25% of remote workers say not being able to unplug is the top struggle with remote work. It’s hard to know if this pressure comes from the company, culture, or every individual’s relationship with remote work (Buffer).
  1. Remote work seems to make it much more difficult for people to create boundaries. 48% of employees feel more pressure to be online all the time since working remotely (Prudential). 
  1. One of the consequences of the pandemic is that people are working longer. 37% of employed respondents shared they are working longer hours than usual since the pandemic started, contributing to feelings of burnout (FlexJobs).
  1. 62% of employees worked more during the pandemic, and 19% worked an extra five to 10 hours weekly (Open Access Government). 
  1. Longer hours are more of a struggle for remote workers than for in-office workers. 53% of remote employees are working more hours now than in the office. 31% say they are working “much more” than before the pandemic (Indeed).

How can companies combat burnout?

  1. Companies can do a lot to combat burnout, starting with normalizing conversations about burnout at work. 56% of respondents went so far as to say that their HR departments did not encourage conversations about burnout (FlexJobs). 
  1. The top ways companies can combat burnout are repeated across many studies and surveys. These include offering flexibility (56%), encouraging time off and mental health days (43%), and more PTO and better health insurance (28%) (FlexJobs).
  1. Employees are eager to see organizations emphasize flexibility, competitive compensation, and well-being once the pandemic is over (McKinsey).
  1. Quality of life, health, and well-being have become the top priorities for office workers—above a good salary, which is now in third place. Improving quality of life is the number one reason people quit their jobs today (JLL).
  1. Over half of respondents (53%) stated that job security, better pay (53%), and wellbeing support (47%) are now more important to them than they were pre-pandemic (Open Access Government).
  1. Offering flexibility is proven to reduce burnout. When companies provide options to work remotely, employees reported decreased burnout compared to employees without remote-work access. And when managers demonstrate empathy, burnout is further reduced (Catalyst).
  1. Companies can offer specific training to their managers related to burnout, empowering them to better recognize burnout symptoms and to know how to respond to them. Providing support for managers also matters, because the second biggest struggle for remote managers is burnout (Kona).
  1. Burnout is especially pronounced for people feeling anxious due to a lack of organizational communication. These employees were almost three times more likely to report feeling burned out. Improving communication across the organization should help reduce burnout (McKinsey & Company).
  1. Women who spend part of their week working remotely (hybrid) are at slightly higher burnout risk (38% in 2021) than women who work exclusively from home (31%) or entirely on-site (34%). Companies that adopt a hybrid setup should ensure there’s no difference in treatment and opportunities between remote, hybrid, and in-office employees (Gallup).

How to prevent your remote team from burning out

Signs of burnout are often harder to identify in remote employees. That’s why Kona exists—it’s a simple app that lives in Slack and uncovers early signs of burnout via daily check-ins. 

Consciously focusing on identifying and reducing burnout through creating psychological safety at work is key. When they feel supported, employees will come to you early on, giving you time to react to the situation and support them. Explicitly asking team members how they’re doing daily is a quick and easy way to foster trust and mutual support across the board.

Try Kona out for free today and make burnout a thing of the past. 

Meet the Author

Nouran Smogluk

Nouran is a passionate people manager who believes that work should be a place where people grow, develop, and thrive. She writes for Supported Content and also blogs about a variety of topics, including remote work, leadership, and creating great customer experiences.

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