Career stress: the average age of burnout is now 32 – and home working is making it worse | Working from home

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Name: Burnout.

Age: First named in 1974.

Appearance: Tired, sleepless, short-tempered, unfocused.

Sounds a bit like depression. It looks a bit like depression, but it’s entirely work-related.

Actually, it just sounds like work. The term was defined by the psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, who described it as a “state of mental and physical exhaustion caused by one’s professional life”.

It’s hardly surprising – a lifetime of stress and overwork will do that to a person. Or rather less than a lifetime these days.

How so? According to a new survey, the average worker is experiencing career burnout at the age of 32.

I barely had a career to burn out at 32. Nevertheless, a full third of respondents overall claimed they have suffered from burnout.

What is the cause of all this crashing and burning? Basically, working too hard and working too long.

How are they managing that under lockdown? Actually, a third of respondents cited the pandemic as the cause of their burnout.

But so many people are working from home. Exactly.

And working from home means eating pizza and watching TV in your jim-jams. Maybe for you, but a lot of employees obliged to work from home find themselves working harder than ever.

Then they are doing it wrong. In fact, more than half of respondents say they have worked more hours since the coronavirus restrictions have been in place. On average, home workers have done an extra seven days of work over the past five months.

What has happened to this generation? They feel all the obligations of the office at home, but they are not getting the stress-alleviating social interaction of traditional employment.

What can be done about this? Some young burnouts use meditation or yoga to combat stress. Almost a quarter of those surveyed said they wanted employers to offer mindfulness or wellness classes.

Huh. I might teach a class in skiving off. You’d be good at that.

You know being underworked can be even more stressful than being overworked. I don’t think it can, actually.

It’s true. I read about it. You might be thinking of “bore-out”, wherein employees suffer depression from not having enough to do.

That’s the one. I’ve had it for months. That only happens when workers are intentionally sidelined by bosses in a bid to get them to quit.

Oh my God, is that what they’re doing? It could be time to get dressed.

Do say: “I need to take a day off because of illness caused by overwork stemming from coronavirus.”

Don’t say: “Actually, I think I just have coronavirus.”

Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Career stress: the average age of burnout is now 32 – and home working is making it worse | Working from home

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