LONDON — They say 30 is the new 20, but when it comes to our careers, 30 may be the new 50. A recent survey of 2,000 working adults finds the average worker is most like to experience career burnout by the early age of 32! When’s retirement, again?

All in all, a full third of respondents admit they’ve felt like they just can’t go on due to either stress of exhaustion at some point during their careers. Why are so many modern workers perpetually burnt out? Many (52%) say they try to do too much, while others (58%) believe their typical working hours are too long.

Other popular responses to that question include not taking enough days off (39%) and feeling like one must always be “on” while at work (47%). Nearly two in five workers (37%) feel like there’s pressure to constantly put in extra work.

In fact, just under half of respondents who battle job burnout have quit a job due to exhaustion. Another 29% would at least consider taking an unpaid leave of absence the next time they’re feeling particularly stressed.

COVID has made job burnout even worse

This research, commissioned by The Office Group, also notes that many people find themselves working even more ever since transitioning to remote employment. Since coronavirus restrictions began, 59% of respondents say they’ve started working more hours. The average remote worker has put in an extra 59 hours of work, the research shows. That’s equal to about seven full additional days of work over the past five months.

“With almost a third of people saying lockdown has brought them closer to burnout, there is no question the pandemic has greatly impacted the nation’s collective mental health,” comments consultant psychiatrist Dr. Sarah Vohra. “Companies must put defenses in place and guard against elements which might cause stress and anxiety, and looking forward, they must make robust changes to ensure employees are protected, particularly during times of uncertainty.”

An astonishing one in three respondents directly blame recent COVID-19 lockdowns for their current feelings of exhaustion and burnout. When asked to explain exactly why this period has been so rough, 31% say they feel obligated to work more because their office is now their home. Also, 27% are missing the social connections of traditional offices.

One would think that younger employees are faring better these days. Yet close to 60% of surveyed Gen Z workers say they’ve already been worn down by the current “always on” work culture.

As far as ways to combat work burnout, 20% of respondents now practice meditation and or yoga to relax when not working. Similarly, 22% want their employer to offer mindfulness and wellness classes.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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