26 September 2023

Burn notice: How two-thirds of working parents suffer from burnout

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Valerie Bolden-Barrett* says a new survey has revealed that two of the top three causes of parental burnout are work-related.

Photo: Ursula Deja

More than 60 per cent of working mothers and fathers have experienced burnout according to a survey of 2,000 people by the Business Performance Innovation Network (BPI) and PollFish.

Of the parents who reported this, 40 per cent of burnout cases significantly affected their lives.

Extreme frustration, constant exhaustion and difficulty handling daily tasks are top signs of parental burnout, which affected the quality of life of 40 per cent of respondents.

Nearly half said that burnout undermined their wellbeing, leaving them anxious and worried, unable to enjoy family time and bereft of focus they needed to concentrate at work.

Two of the top three causes of parental burnout are work-related, says BPI.

Exhaustion from jobs inside and outside the home caused stress for 29 per cent of respondents.

The same number said financial concerns and limitations contributed to their burnout.

BPI’s chief strategy and research officer, Dave Murray said he believes employee wellness programs should include counselling sessions on healthy parenting.

Citing statistics from market research firm IBISWorld, Murray says corporate wellness programs cost $8 billion a year and ought to include parental counselling, considering the cost.

Corporate wellness programs have added many programs to address workers’ various issues, including mental health assistance and financial education.

Employers can survey their workers to gauge their interest in and need for parental counselling.

Such programs can be well worth the cost: when employees suffer from burnout, employer costs can rise and productivity can take a hit.

In a 2017 paper, workers reported that anxiety about finances was affecting their work, increasing absenteeism and turnover.

Employers do need to keep an eye on results, however.

But with the wide adoption of wellness programs, employers may be in a good position to add programs to assist workers with their stress — whether it’s caused by money, caregiving responsibilities or something else.

A healthy, productive workforce can be more engaged and, ultimately, more loyal.

* Valerie Bolden-Barrett is a business writer and content specialist and Contributing Editor to HR Dive.

This article first appeared at www.hrdive.com.

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