Burnout and imposter syndrome have become occupational hazards: Study

Burnout and imposter syndrome have become occupational hazards: Study

Anne Raimondi

Two years into the pandemic, burnout and imposter syndrome have become occupational hazards, according to a new report from Asana.

Asana’s annual Australia Anatomy of Work Index has just been released, revealing that 45 per cent of workers have suffered from both burnout and imposter syndrome, and nearly one quarter have experienced burnout four or more times in the past year.

Unnecessary meetings, work about work, and communications overload were cited by workers as the biggest hurdles when it comes to productivity.

The report says that three in 10 people surveyed have resigned from their job due to burnout. There are also big generational differences, with younger generations more likely to say they have suffered from burnout and imposter syndrome than older generations.

Seventy-five per cent of Gen Z and Millennials have suffered from burnout at least once over the past year, while 56 per cent of Gen X and Baby Boomers say they have.

Younger generations’ experiences of burnout are also contrasted with the views of senior staff, with 55 per cent of managers agreeing that burnout was an inevitable part of success.

What can employers do about burnout and imposter syndrome?

Despite the high rates of burnout and imposter syndrome, the report actually indicates that wellbeing has been improving year-on-year. For example, the share of Australian workers experiencing imposter syndrome dropped from 68 per cent last year to 54 per cent this year.

But there are still improvements that can be made to massively improve employee well-being outcomes.

The report indicates that leaders must move quickly to build a positive culture in their workplaces in order to retain their employees.

“Change needs to be structural and teams need to work together to think holistically about their workflows,” the report states.

Twenty six per cent of workers impacted by imposter syndrome said that mentoring and training programs, as well as better processes (24 per cent), are the best ways to approach it.

Meanwhile, 19 per cent of those with imposter syndrome said clarity on goals would help, and 18 per cent say that better mental health resources would be beneficial.

“To attract and retain great people, and ensure that they can adapt to the shifting demographics in the workforce, Australian businesses must have a long-term plan for addressing and reducing both burnout and imposter syndrome.

“An approach combining more transparent processes and goals with better access to health and wellbeing resources could be transformative.”

Anne Raimondi, Chief Operating Officer of Asana, said the pandemic has shifted how we live and our relationship with work, and organisations need to be on the front foot.

“As we transition into the new era of agile work, it’s crucial for organisations to connect their teams around clarity of purpose and a shared sense of accomplishment to ensure employees feel seen, heard and valued,” Raimondi said.

“In doing so, we can emerge from the burnout and bottlenecks of the past two years to chart a new path forward in the future of work.” 

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