The struggle is real - 2 years into the pandemic burnout and imposter syndrome are rife
The Sector > Research > Allied Fields > The struggle is real – 2 years into the pandemic burnout and imposter syndrome are rife

The struggle is real – 2 years into the pandemic burnout and imposter syndrome are rife

by Freya Lucas

April 11, 2022

Burnout and imposter syndrome (doubting ones abilities and feeling like a fraud) are now so prevalent in many workplaces that they are considered to be an occupational hazard, a new report from workplace organisation tool Asana has found. 


The annual Asana Anatomy of Work Index was recently published noting that nearly half of all Australian workers have suffered from both burnout and imposter syndrome, and nearly a quarter had worked themselves to the point of burnout four or more times in the past year. Some of the biggest contributors to burnout were unnecessary meetings and communication overload and younger workers were more likely to call burnout than their older colleagues. 


Amongst the older respondents – those who were born in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s – 56 per cent said they experience burnout at least once a year, while for those born in the late 1980s, 1990s and 2000s 75 per cent said they had experienced burnout. 


The leaders who responded to the research were divided, with just over half saying that a sense of being burnt out is “an inevitable part of success”. 


Wellbeing improves year on year, despite burnout claims


Despite the report findings in relation to burnout and imposter syndrome, wellbeing is on the rise compared with previous years, and the rates of those feeling like they are operating above their capabilities is falling, dropping from 68 per cent in 2020 to 54 per cent in 2021. 


Although the findings are somewhat positive, report authors note that small improvements can lead to large upswings in employee wellbeing and morale, telling leaders they should move quickly to make a positive culture a priority. 


How to help the ‘imposters’ 


Leaders can make changes to support those in their teams who are experiencing imposter syndrome including mentoring and training programs and implementing better processes. 


Mental health resources and ensuring all employees have attainable goals to work towards was also a recommended course of action to support. 


“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,” authors note.


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


To access the report please see here

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