Survey: Majority of Senior Executives Feel Burned Out

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Overall, more than one in three feds attribute burnout to COVID-19 circumstances.

Collectively, a majority of federal employees feel burned out.

According to a survey released Wednesday, 57% of the federal employees who responded say they’re burned out with one-third of fatigued employees citing COVID-19-related circumstances as the chief driver.

Conducted by Eagle Hill Consulting, the survey polled more than 500 federal employees in December 2020 and found burnout rates highest among senior executives and millennials. For federal leaders, 70% of senior executives reported burnout, higher than supervisors (60%) and non-supervisory (55%) employees. Generationally, 64% of millennials said they were burnt out, compared to 55% of Generation X and 50% of baby boomers.

Among feds reporting burnout, millennials were more than twice as likely to cite COVID-19 as a contributing factor (41%) than baby boomers (19%). About one in four Gen X employees responded that COVID-19 factored in. The survey comes as thousands of federal employees remain teleworking full-time amid the global pandemic. 

Dave Witkowski, public service industry lead for Eagle Hill Consulting, called the level of burnout across federal ranks “deeply troubling.” However, federal employees appear to compare favorably among broader swaths of the American public in workplace fatigue as measured in similar surveys. Last May, for example, found that 73% of the American public felt burned out as the COVID-19 pandemic hit its first peak, with more than 80% of gig economy employees reporting burnout.

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