More than half of federal employees reported in a recent poll that they feel burned out, most commonly citing workload; lack of communication, feedback and support; time pressures; lack of needed technology; and pressures of work-life balance.
Some but not all of those concerns arise from pandemic-related reasons, said the Eagle Hill consulting company, which conducted the online poll that involved about 500 responses. It also said that senior executives and supervisory employees reported higher levels of burnout than non-supervisory employees, while the youngest generation in the workforce, Millennials, reported higher levels than Generation X or Baby Boom employees.
Millennials also were more likely to attribute feelings of burnout to the pandemic; their higher likelihood of having children at home needing care or doing schoolwork from home could be a contributing factor.
“Federal employees remain under immense pressure – from the COVID-19 pandemic, to a far-reaching data hack, to implementing a presidential transition. It’s critical for federal leaders to find ways to make workloads more sustainable, otherwise agencies will struggle to retain talent and deliver on the mission,” it said.
The much more comprehensive Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey does not directly ask a question about burnout but the version administered last fall did include new questions related to the pandemic. Full results of that survey have not been released but OPM has reported preliminary results indicating that measures of job satisfaction and organizational satisfaction improved in 2020.