A resurging buzzword gives a fresh take on an old problem for human resources professionals. Burnout of working parents relates to moms and dads who feel exhausted trying to juggle job and family responsibilities. Exhaustion and lack of satisfaction lead to less creativity and less energy at work, eventually causing these employees to quit their jobs in frustration, a new study suggests.
In addition to potential decreased productivity, worker burnout can cause employers to unnecessarily spend time and energy on looking for a replacement when an exhausted — albeit a perfectly capable — employee quits. The study, published by Bright Horizons, examined how workers and management felt about working-parent burnout. While each side may have a different take on how to combat the problem, both labor and management agree that the solution lies in the workplace itself.
The survey shows some interesting statistics with respect to working-parent burnout. Up to 62 percent of working parents believe their employers simply do not care about them. Meanwhile, 56 percent of working parents lack happiness in their current job. A whopping 98 percent of those surveyed have experienced some type of burnout at one point or another.
A disrupted work-life balance is not a light matter. As many as 77 percent of working parents state burnout led to depression, anxiety or sickness, in addition to the lost time at work due to these health issues. Up to 77 percent of managers and 79 percent of working parents agree that the solution to working-parent burnout starts at the office rather than at home. As such, 62 percent of working parents want to work for a company that supports their needs, the study reveals.
One problem the study brought out is the silent suffering of working parents, who do not feel as if they should share concerns with employers. In fact, 75 percent of survey respondents said they would be afraid to voice concerns about their needs as parents being neglected. As many as 77 percent of working parents are hesitant to say anything about wanting more time at home with family, and this lack of communication only exacerbates working-parent burnout.
On the other hand, only 34 percent of managers have concerns about the work-life balance of their team members. Similarly, just 30 percent of managers worry that those under their supervision may feel dissatisfied with how the company treats them as parents. On a brighter note, management realizes working parents are better multitaskers, time managers and problem solvers.
Providing solutions and support for parents saves employers money simply because a loyal employee who knows his job remains an asset for decades. Taking care of human capital must remain a priority for businesses if they want to curb working-parent burnout. More companies should offer flexible work schedules and benefits to cope with a new generation of parents in the workforce.
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