It’s been nearly six months since the World Health Organization (WHO) officially categorized burnout as a medical diagnosis. According to WHO, the occupational phenomenon occurs when chronic, enhanced workplace stress isn’t properly managed, and as a result, leads to exhaustion, negative feelings towards one’s job, and reduced professional efficiency. We wanted to see how many professionals on Fishbowl were currently suffering from burnout, whether it’s a common phenomenon, and how segments of these industries fare.
Our communities of accountants, consultants, teachers, and advertising and PR professionals were given the statement: “I am currently suffering from job burnout” and could answer with true or false.
Within three days, the survey received 11,286 responses. Overall, we found that 58 percent of professionals are currently suffering from job burnout. Broken down by industry, accountants had the highest rate of burnout, with the rest falling close behind
- 66% of Accountants
- 65% of Advertising and PR professionals
- 58% of Teachers
- 55% of Consultants
In our accounting community, 1,708 accountants responded to the survey. Among companies with at least 100 responses, these were the five accounting firms with the highest employee burnout rates:
- 70% of EY employees
- 68% of PwC employees
- 67% of Deloitte employees
- 67% of Grant Thornton employees
- 62 of KPMG employees
When comparing the overall results by company (regardless of industry,) EY closed out the list of top three companies with the highest burnout rates. EY’s accountants fall behind advertising agencies, McCann and Ogilvy. In comparison to the top five accounting firms with the highest rates, the results are similar with each one within a 10 percent range from one another.
The survey was answered by 5,843 consultants – the largest group of professionals to respond. Among companies with at least 100 responses, these were the five consulting companies with the highest employee burnout rates:
- 63% of PwC consultants
- 59% of ZS Associates consultants
- 58% of IBM consultants
- 57% of Deloitte consultants
- 57% of EY consultants
When we looked at the overall results of the consulting industry, PwC had the biggest difference between employees with only 37 percent saying that they are not burnt out.
At 57 percent, EY consultants are, surprisingly, the consulting group with the least amount of people currently experiencing burnout – a very different result compared to their accounting counterparts. EY employs the highest number of burnt out accountants, yet has the lowest number of burnt out consultants. This raises the question of whether burnout has to do with an industry’s expectations as opposed to the company itself.
Through this survey, Slalom Consulting and Accenture were the only companies to have most employees not currently experiencing burnout. Fifty-one percent of Accenture’s employees say that they are not experiencing burnout, and 58 percent of Slalom’s employees agree.
We had 1,875 professionals in our advertising community respond to the survey, and as it turns out, all agencies had a majority of their respondents say that they are currently experiencing burnout. According to the final numbers, the best performing agency in this survey is BBDO – with 56 percent of employees experiencing burnout and 44 percent of employees not.
More than half of employees at the large agencies are currently experiencing burnout. Here’s a look at how employees at six agencies with at least 100 employee responses:
- 77% of McCann employees
- 72% of Ogilvy employees
- 68% of Grey employees
- 64% of Edelman employees
- 58% of FCB employees
- 56% of BBDO employees
Across all industries, the two worst performing companies in this survey are in advertising. McCann tops the list with an overwhelming 77 percent of employees experiencing burnout – more than three quarters of their employees. Falling not too far behind is Ogilvy, with 72% of employees.
The astoundingly high numbers among the advertising agencies are a good reflection of the industry’s expectations of the workforce, and a good indicator of how widespread the phenomenon is. If exceptionally high work expectations and burnout symptoms are a norm in the advertising industry, then is there a stigma attached to admitting to burnout?
From our community of teachers, we received 1,032 responses. Overall, 58 percent of teachers say they are burnt out. Among states with at least 50 responses, these states had the highest rates among teachers:
- 70% of Illinois’ teachers
- 69% of California’s teachers
- 67% of New Jersey’s teachers
- 64% of Georgia’s teachers
- 56% of Nevada’s teachers
- 52% of New York’s teachers
One interesting result is that 72 percent of Chicago’s teachers say they are currently suffering from workplace burnout, which is higher than the state of Illinois, as well as the overall average for teachers in our survey. This finding reiterates the sentiments of more than 26,000 educators in the city who are entering the 11th day of a teachers’ strike.
In August 2019, we found that half of teachers have a second job. In that same month, we also discovered that 86 percent of teachers took out student loans and still need to pay them back. After learning about the financial burdens that teachers take on to continue teaching and provide better education to students, it is even more troublesome to know that they are also experiencing burnout due to poor workplace conditions.
Almost six months into officially being recognized as a medical diagnosis and we are seeing very high levels of burnout across different industries. Is this a result of living in a world where we are always pressured to perform? Or, is this a phenomenon specific to certain industries and companies? Do our employers even care?
How do you manage workplace stress and combat burnout? Tweet us @fishbowlapp and let us know.