The obvious, but hard to admit, solution as worker burnout peaks


Bloomberg’s Matthew Boyle called out a key stat from a Future Forum report on worker sentiment right now. As you can see from the chart above, worker burnout has reached a post-pandemic peak of 42%.

I mean, who isn’t burned out? That’s just work-life reality. But is there a solution?

Sort of. A close friend just got a new job after being out of work for awhile.

On the one hand, the time off was a blessing — coffee till 10am, go out for a drive and long lunch between dropping off and picking up his daughter from school.

On the other hand, that life has a different kind of existential dread than dragging out of bed for work at 5am daily: career and income uncertainty.

Fast forward to a text thread this week. I pinged 5 days ago to ask how his new job — that he was thrilled to get and started 2 weeks ago — had been going. His response:

“Let’s connect on that topic in a week.”

Uh oh! But no surprises. All work is imperfect.

For me, the key has always been to find the best balance of doing work I’m the best at, working with people I like, money, and flexibility.

My acute challenge is the money part. I like money, and that tends to make me push too hard all the time. Which of course ruins my flexibility.

For my friend, who prizes working with people he likes, I suspect when we talk this weekend, his acute challenge will be post-honeymoon toxic workplace signals.

For all of us, the solution is to pick our poison.

Work is work, and all the motivational porn in the world won’t change that.

Nor will the super obvious Future Forum stats below suggesting flexibility will bring me more happiness/focus.

Future Forum Pulse Winter 2023 Snapshot - Employees with Schedule Flexibility are more productive and focused - The Basis Point

The poison I’ve picked is trying to be on/build the best teams.

And if this choice ruins my flexibility, that’s a pill I can swallow.

What about you? Let me know in comments or reach out.


Future Forum full report on worker burnout & workplace flexibility

Worker burnout even worse than pandemic peak (Bloomberg)

Does your career feel more secure as a freelancer or corporate soldier?




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