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Topic: Culture

Recovering from a Year of Pandemic Burnout

How Covid-19 increased workplace burnout and 4 ways to reverse it

Employee connecting with other employees virtually during a Zoom meeting.
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Employees experience burnout for a number of reasons—exhaustion from overwork, fighting for a better work/life balance, feeling unappreciated, and a generally poor workplace culture. Although business leaders routinely monitor their teams for signs of burnout, few were fully prepared for the unprecedented surge caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

By April of 2020, “2.6 billion people had gone into lockdown, and places of employment for 81% of the global workforce were fully or partially closed.” In this environment of fear of job loss, many employees were suddenly asked to do more, with less, under high risk of infection on the front lines or from home with added family distractions. For those working remotely, Zoom calls started early and went late into the evening, shattering previous boundaries between work and home life.

This created the conditions for a tsunami of employee strain and exhaustion. In a workplace survey conducted by the O.C. Tanner Institute a year after the pandemic began, 57.7% of workers agreed or strongly agreed that the pandemic caused them to feel more workplace stress.


say the Covid-19 pandemic caused them
to feel more stress at work

SOURCE: O.C. Tanner Institute, March 2021 Omnibus Survey

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