Insider News: Mental health and the pandemic
The stress of the ongoing pandemic is taking its toll on Americans, reflected by rising job burnout and depression rates. Learn about these issues as well as some of the ways employers are helping parents with children manage the start of the school year.
COVID-19 has exacerbated a 75% job burnout rate, study says from TechRepublic
A recent survey from FlexJobs and Mental Health America asked more than 1,500 workers about their mental health as it relates to work. Seventy-five percent reported feeling burnout at some point, with 40% saying their burnout was a result of the pandemic.
Other findings include:
- 76% of respondents are working remotely
- 56% said a more flexible workday could help reduce burnout
- Encouraging time off and offering mental health days are also popular ideas, each coming in at 43%
- Employees are 3 times more likely to rate their mental health as 'poor' than they were pre-pandemic
- 75% say that work-related stress affects their mental health and causes depression or anxiety
- Top stressors include: COVID-19, personal finances, current events, concern over family's health, the economy, and job responsibilities
The report also included tips to help remote workers reduce stress.
A recent study from Boston University's School of Public Health shows that anxiety and economic uncertainty resulting from the pandemic have contributed to increasing rates of depression, especially among lower income populations. Twenty-five percent of respondents reported experiencing mild depression, compared to 16% before the pandemic. The rates of moderate and severe depression also increased, from 6% and 1% to fifteen and five percent respectively.
These rates of depression are higher than that of the general population after other traumatic events, like Hurricane Katrina and September 11, according to lead researcher Catherine Ettman.
Because of the widely varying back-to-school plans, many employers are struggling to meet their employees' child care needs. In July, only 32% of companies that planned to return to work had plans to support child care for their employees. Now, 43% of working adults say they are considering taking a leave of absence due to COVID-19 related family issues according to a survey by health care concierge company Wellthy.
To help parents balance work and remote learning, companies are expanding their workplace flexibility. Some strategies include:
- Discount tutoring and child care reimbursements
- Allowing employees to schedule blocks of time for personal priorities
- Implementing casual or "no video" Fridays
- Working with reduced schedules
Despite the challenges of child care during the pandemic, 41% say they have enjoyed spending extra time with their family.