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Americans work until burnout to hit their deadlines

Would you guess that the most common reason baby boomers work until they hit burnout is a fear of being fired?
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

If you lack energy, can't concentrate on your work, or feel disillusioned with your job or career choice; you might be experiencing professional burnout. In 2019, work burnout became a medical diagnosis -- recognized for its ability to seep into people's mental and physical health.

So why do employees work until they burnout? Louisville, KY-based Online CBD store Direct CBD asked over 900 full-time employees about why they worked until burnout. It wanted to find out how burnout impacts their behavior.

Americans work until burnout to hit deadlines according to new study zdnet
(Image: Direct CBD)

The study showed that almost three out of five employees experience work burnout, with women more likely to report work burnout, and baby boomers more likely to report work burnout than millennials and Gen Xers.

Burnout appears to be related to the number of jobs that Americans have. Almost half of Americans have jobs on the side in addition to their regular jobs. More than 80% of respondents also had a side-gig and those respondents were more likely to experience work burnout. 

Almost one in three (31%) of respondents worked until burnout because they want to achieve financial independence. Others reported that hitting deadlines (38%) and maintaining work productivity statistics (34%) were the top reasons people worked until burnout.

Employees are much more likely to work until burnout out of fear of being fired than to earn a promotion or raise. Almost half (48%) of employees have pretended to look busier at work than they really are.

More than 40% have come in early or stayed late to look busy. Other tactics include keeping many computer tabs open, answering messages outside of working hours, and eating at the desk instead of leaving for a lunch break.

Americans work until burnout to hit deadlines according to new study zdnet
(Image: Direct CBD)

While baby boomers working full time also identified the importance of hitting deadlines, the fear of being fired or laid off was a bigger contributor to their stress.

A recent analysis suggests that as many as 22 million Americans aged 50 and older are in danger of being laid off, terminated, or forced to retire -- a sure cause of stress. 

The results also revealed one in three employees have cried at work due to burnout and more than 25% of millennials and Gen Xers drink alcohol to cope with the stress. 

Work burnout has become a hot topic since the WHO made it an official diagnosis. You might feel vindicated to see just how common a lot of these behaviors are at work. Spending time outside in nature, reading, and exercise are good tactics to reduce work burnout.

After all -- it's your job -- not your life.

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