One in four employees aged 18 to 34 reported burnout complaints in 2022, according to a new study by research organisation TNO.
The report, commissioned by the ministry of social affairs and employment, found burnout cases were becoming more common and more severe, with the biggest increase among young women.
“We see that the number of young workers with complaints is increasing. And the seriousness of the problems is increasing among the group of young people with complaints,” TNO researcher Malte van Veen told Trouw.
In 2020, 25 percent of young women suffered from burnout complaints, but by 2022, that percentage had risen to 29 percent.
But young men weren’t immune to burnout: in 2015, 13% had burnout complaints compared to 23% last year.
The researchers used figures from CBS statistics’ and TNO’s National Survey on Working Conditions (NEA), which looks at 60,000 workers of all ages annually. They also conducted interviews with 27 young people.
The share of absenteeism due to work-related psychological complaints is also rising, especially in healthcare and education, where many young women work.
According to the study, “there are fewer and fewer employees in healthcare and education without burnout complaints.”
In 2021, there was also an increase in burnout complaints and absenteeism due to psychological complaints in the ICT sector, possibly caused by corona-induced work changes.
Researchers say the increasing burnout is due to performance pressure, life and work insecurities and social pressure.
“Young people cited the constant stream of negative news about climate, nitrogen, war and COVID-19 as examples,” said the TNO study. “Inflation, high mortgage payments and student debt were often mentioned from a financial perspective.
“The influence of social media on young people’s self-image also plays a role in the stress that young employees experience, in addition to the fact that social media also distracts them from work.”
The ministry of health, welfare and sport, along with the ministry of social affairs and employment, recently launched a “Hey, it’s okay” campaign to help young people talk openly about burnout. Sharing problems at home or work also helps, say the researchers.
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