Now that millennials are well into adulthood, the topic of “burnout” – a sense of chronic physical and mental exhaustion – has been surfacing in the news. Recently, the World Health Organization classified burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
We were curious to dig deeper into the millennial burnout phenomenon, so we surveyed more than 2,000 millennials between the ages of 23 and 38 to ask them how burnout affects them in the workplace as well as in their everyday life. Respondents also told us the top factors they believe lead to burnout and how they cope with the symptoms.
We’ve all felt physically and mentally exhausted, but how often are these symptoms occur among millennials? According to respondents, 31% feel physical exhaustion daily and 29% feel mentally exhausted on a daily basis. These symptoms have prevented millennials from socializing, paying their bills and even going to work.
Many things in our lives compounded over time can lead to these symptoms. According to respondents, work was the highest ranked factor of burnout among millennials.
Workplace pressures like working off the clock, working overtime and working more than one job all received high responses within our survey. A quarter reported working off the clock more than once a week and more than half reported a sense of burnout due to working more than one job or having “side hustles.”
In terms of coping with burnout, millennials that were surveyed reported that watching streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu as well as sleep and exercise were among the top ways to cope. Drinking alcohol and substance abuse were also reported as coping mechanisms among respondents. Of those who take drugs to cope, 68% said they use marijuana.
However, it seems many millennials are taking big steps when it comes to avoiding burnout. More than 60% of respondents said they are either planning or considering making a major lifestyle choice within the next year to reduce symptoms of exhaustion and stress.
We surveyed 2,059 millennials between the ages of 23-38. Fifty-three percent of respondents were female and 47% were male. Of those respondents, 1,772 were employed or self-employed. Only data from employed respondents was used for workplace-related questions.
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