Seven in 10 people have experienced 'employee burnout', study finds

Seven In 10 People Have Experienced 'Employee Burnout', Study Finds
seven in 10 workers (70 per cent) reporting to have suffered from the condition at some point in their career.
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James Cox

New research from Lockton People Solutions Ireland has revealed the prevalence of employee burnout in Ireland, with seven in 10 workers (70 per cent) reporting to have suffered from the condition at some point in their career.

Three in 10 people claimed they have “definitely” experienced burnout before, and a further quarter of respondents (26 per cent) went through burnout without even knowing there was a term for it. Added to this, 14 per cent said they were currently experiencing symptoms of the condition.


Employee burnout – recognised as a syndrome by the World Health Organisation – can be attributed to suffering long-term stress in the workplace resulting in poor health. It occurs when a person feels exhausted, stressed, and debilitated from a constant state of overwhelm as a result of “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.

Symptoms manifest physically, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically.

Conducted by iReach, the survey of approximately 700 adults currently in Ireland’s workforce, found:

  • Women were twice as likely as men to say they have “definitely” suffered from burnout (39 per cnet of women versus 20 per cent of men).
  • A third of male workers claim they had experienced some of the common signs of burnout but “didn’t know the term for it at the time”, compared with just 19 per cent of female respondents.
  • The largest cohort of people who stated they had experienced burnout were those aged between 35-44 (38 per cent).
  • Just one third of people say they rarely work through their lunch break – the remaining two out of three do so with differing frequency.

The Lockton survey also found that working through lunch is a commonplace feature of an Irish employee’s workday.


Commenting on the findings of the survey, Ray McKenna, partner at Lockton People Solutions Ireland, said: “We know that working patterns have significantly changed from what they were just a couple of years ago and are likely to continue to evolve.

"Employers in Ireland must take a careful and considered approach when it comes to occupational burnout to fulfil their duty of care and maintain the wellbeing of staff. This could mean a review of how people work and the types of benefits that employers provide to reflect a changing workforce.”

Mr McKenna added: “Well-designed workplace wellness programmes can help to address and prevent burnout and to support the changing needs and retirement patterns of today’s employees."

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