New Zealand workers under the age of 30 are three times more likely to be burnt out than other demographics.

Do you feel like you’ve got nothing left to give before your day has even begun?

New research from AUT into burnout has found workers under the age of 30 are 206 percent more likely to be burnt out than other workers.

The four main signs of burnout are if you are:

  • Emotionally exhausted
  • Feel indifferent to work
  • Find it hard to stay focused
  • Struggle to control your emotions

Many workers often feel tired, but people who score highly on those four categories can be considered burnt out.

Employees who are burnt out report more anxiety, depression, sleep issues and physical health issues like stomach cramps.

It’s a legit illness, recognised by the World Health Organisation in its catalogue of physical and mental illnesses, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

The research was led by Jarrod Haar, a professor at Auckland University of Technology’s Business School.

Professor Haar surveyed 1000 New Zealand workers, and found 11 percent were burnt out.

Young people weren’t the only ones at high risk of being burnt out. People who are managers were 219 percent more likely to be burnt out, while those who worked in large companies (more than 51 employees) were 153 percent more likely to be burnt out. 

Essential workers were 152 percent more likely.

So if you’re a manager in your 20s who works for a big company that’s an essential service - no wonder you feel like shit.

The results didn’t vary by gender or whether you had kids (which is kind of surprising because it’s hard enough to be a working person, let alone a working parent). There was also no difference between people who worked for big corporates and those who worked for non-profits or government organisations. Working from home versus the office also made no difference.

And if you feel like work got worse last year, that makes sense. The study was done in 2020 right after the first Covid lockdown, and Professor Haar says the results show the impact of the pandemic.


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