(NewsNation) — As workers are returning to the office and job-related stresses are creeping back, there is a shift to the well-being of employees coming to the forefront in the American workplace.
We’ve seen record-breaking resignations across the country, and now rest and recovery is a discussion being had among employees and their employers.
According to a report from Destination Analysts, more than two-thirds of American workers feel at least moderately burned out.
Economist and futurist Rebecca Ryan discussed avoiding worker burnout and how employees are not taking enough vacations during an appearance on “Morning in America”.
“I feel like the ‘check engine’ light is on for American workers because of two years of living under these stressful conditions,” she said. “So what we’re seeing is this drastic shift from sort of a workaholic environment to one that is shifting to a well-being focus at work.”
Ryan said employees are strapped with added responsibilities as many of their colleagues participated in the “Great Resignation.”
“We’re seeing it in employers, public sector employers, private sector employers, as people are leaving,” she said. “A lot of those people who are leaving are doing it to sort of claw back their mental and physical health, but it is leaving those behind to do a little bit more work.”
There’s a work and rest balance and every person is different, according to Ryan.
“Data going back to the 1940s, and 1930, show that American workers can work about 40 hours, and after that our margin of productivity goes down,” she said. “So we make worse decisions. We’re not as productive. We do need time off.”
And the levels of burnout that we’re now seeing can have long-term effects, Ryan said.
“We know that this impacts cardiovascular health, it impacts psychological health, including depression and drug use,” she said. “If burnout goes on for too long, it obviously impacts us at work as well.”
Ryan said employers have a role in their employees’ well-being, but it takes effort from all sides.
“Take your vacation, take care of yourself, get yourself some rest and renewal even if it’s a staycation,” she said.
One thing Ryan said that employers can do is make it really clear that they value employees taking time off.
“So bosses, for example, stop sending emails at midnight,” she said. “Set good mental health hygiene at work, where there are clear starts and stops and take your own vacation as well.”