With organisations getting leaner and workloads getting heavier, today, burnout – a sense of chronic physical and mental exhaustion – is a global phenomenon.

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified burnout as an occupational phenomenon – a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

According to WHO, the syndrome is characterised by three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.

Now that Millennials are well into adulthood, it’s no surprise that they too are experiencing the effects of burnout.

In fact, a recent survey by Yellowbrick found that the occupational phenomenon affects the daily lives of 96% of Millennials. For instance:

  • 78% say burnout has prevented them from socialising.
  • More than half (53%) have missed work due to burnout.
  • 32% have not paid bills due to burnout.
  • 24% didn’t vote due to burnout.

Polling 2,059 Millennials between the ages of 23-38, it further reveals 75% of them experience mental exhaustion weekly or more. Another 80% experience physical exhaustion weekly or more.


The survey also revealed that about two thirds (64%) of Millennials felt their lives more stressful than the average person. The same percentage also felt their lives were more stressful than previous generations.

Digging deeper, top causes of burnout include work (72%), finances (46%), socialising (33%), cleaning their home (30%), and credit card debt (29%).

As for coping mechanisms, the most common was watching Netflix/Hulu/TV (16%), followed by sleeping (10%), and exercising (10%). Additionally, 62% are considering making a major lifestyle choice within the next year to reduce stress.


Other findings include:

  • Among those who take drugs to cope with burnout, 68% used marijuana.
  • 48% considered themselves a workaholic.
  • About three in five (61%) felt pressured to work longer or overtime hours.
  • 45% worried they could lose their job at any moment.
  • A majority of Millennials (63%) felt pressured to find of have the “perfect job”.
  • 62% were pressured to always be accessible (through email, slack, or other means).
  • More than two thirds (68%) felt they suffer from “workism” or only identifying themselves through their jobs.
  • A quarter of them worked off the clock more than once a week.
  • 29% felt overworked at their jobs daily.
  • 54% worked more than one job.
  • 56% felt burned out from working multiple jobs/side hustle.

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This article was first published in Human Resources Online Bulletin and is reproduced with permission. Original article can be found at http://www.humanresourcesonline.net

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