The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies employee burnout as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

The WHO lists the three main symptoms as:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings negative towards one’s career
  • Reduced professional productivity

When a workplace lacks focus on employee well-being and productivity, it results in a stressful environment for them. In addition, workers feel that lack of motivation, lack of good performance, and disengagement.

Here are 4 surprising results about burnout that might interest you:

  1. More than half of women are more stressed than a year ago and 46% feel burned out: Only 39% of the women surveyed in 2022 rate their mental health as good/very good (a slight increase over 2021), while almost half reported it to be poor/very poor. More than half (53%) said they are more stressed than they were a year ago, and almost half (46%) report feeling burned out. Despite this, only 43% feel comfortable talking about mental health challenges in the workplace, only 44% say that they get adequate support from their employer when it comes to mental health, and 33% have taken time off work for mental-health reasons. (Women @ Work 2022: A Global Outlook/ Deloitte)
  2. The World Health Organization says burnout is characterized by exhaustion, increased mental distance from the job and reduced professional efficacy. Gallup finds that about three in four American workers say they experience burnout on the job at least sometimes. Worse, 29% report feeling burned out at work very often or always.1 These severely burned-out workers are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 23% more likely to visit the emergency room.
  3. Employee burnout is costly: burnout is estimated to be attributed to 120,000 deaths per year and $190 billion in healthcare spending. This doesn’t include burnout’s toll on decreased productivity, an increase in errors, absenteeism, and other organizational costs.3 Companies with moderate-to-severe burnout have a 376% decrease in the odds of having highly engaged employees, 87% decrease in likelihood to stay, 22% decreased work output, and 41% decrease in the perception of the employee experience. (The Hidden Costs of Stressed-Out Workers)
  4. According to more research from Statista, age has an influence on whether you, or somebody else, has had contact with burnout, or not. It seems that the older you are, the less you’re aware of burnout — the 60+ group holds the least share of people who have had experience with burnout or know someone who has suffered it.

In total, only about 26% from the 60+ group have experienced burnout, or know someone else who has — which is a stark difference to the 65% share of those aged 18–29 with the same experiences.

The share of people unaware of burnout cases around them is substantial — this may indicate that a lot of people who are experiencing burnout are keeping it a secret. Again, those aged 18–29 are most likely to have come into any contact with burnout, as opposed to the 78% of people older than 60.

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