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  • Writer's picturelindsayannkohler

We Can’t Solve Burnout Until We Agree That Work Isn’t Working

This originally appeared on July 1, 2024 in Forbes.

Burnout has become a pervasive issue that threatens both employee well-being and organizational success. The latest Mercer Global Talent Trends report paints a concerning picture of the current state of workplace stress and exhaustion. "We are on the cusp of a global burnout trend," says Kate Bravery, author of the report and the Global Advisory Solutions & Insights Leader at Mercer. "In the 10 years I've been doing the Mercer Global Talent report, the burnout rate is the highest I've ever seen it. 82% of the global workforce feel at risk of burnout."

Key drivers of the burnout crisis — and why companies should care

According to Mercer's report, the number one driver of burnout is financial strain, with exhaustion from one's workload coming in second. 57% of people say they're working longer hours than ever before, and poor work design and ineffective work habits are partially driving that increase.

Burnout drivers aside, a key factor in understanding burnout is understanding the psychology of it. "The science of burnout is essentially about arousal," says Bravery. "While we need some arousal to get out of bed and go about our day, the challenge is when arousal is too high over a sustained period."

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