Employee wellbeing faces significant threats well over a year into the pandemic, as evidenced by a 21% rise in burnout and a 17% increase in somatic stress symptoms, a new study from meQuilibrium found. The study examined changes in overall wellbeing among 5,474 meQuilibrium members, including managers and individual contributors.

The study, titled "Overwhelmed: Threats to Employee Wellbeing Persist & Employer Support Remains Critical," also revealed a 64% increase in burnout risk among younger workers, which was nearly three times the increase for employees over 30 (22%). The increase in burnout symptoms is especially high among managers (54%), hospitality (48%), healthcare (32%) and finance (30%) industry workers.

The new data shows a downturn in the extent to which employees felt well-supported by their employers. Just six months ago, 78% of employees felt well-supported, dropping down to 71% today. While the data uncovered a decrease in employee perceptions of strong employer support, the drop was larger (20%) among managers than among individual employees. Burnout symptoms among employees who had poor employer support were twice as high as those who felt protected.

In contrast, employees who felt strongly supported by their employer were:

  • Ninety-one percent more engaged with the company’s mission and vision
  • Sixty-six percent more connected to their job
  • Fifty-two percent less likely to consider quitting their job
  • Twenty-seven percent less worried about balancing work and family

Managers and individual contributors who take an active part in self-care and resilience-building have better outcomes than those who do not. While the least engaged employees reported increases of 36% in somatic stress, there was no increase in somatic stress symptoms among the most engaged members who participated in digital resilience coaching and self-care.