Burnout: How Workplace Mental Health Extends Beyond Work

New Research Shows the Hidden Toll that On-the-Job Mental Health Struggles Have on Employees’ Personal Lives

May 22, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — This month, SHRM has unveiled key findings from its 2023 State of Mental Health & Well-being in the Workplace Study in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month. The findings released today explore how burnout and mental health struggles at work can affect employees outside of work—particularly their energy, their concerns and their ability to function. The data SHRM Research collected from 1,000 U.S. workers between March 15 and March 28, 2023, reveals that many workers are experiencing low energy and exhaustion at the end of the workday, affecting their capacity to participate in activities outside of work. These findings are unsurprising, as the line between home and work has continued to blur.


Nearly half (47 percent) of U.S. workers said they have little energy to participate in nonwork activities by the end of the workday, with younger workers disproportionately affected. Almost two-thirds of Generation Z (63 percent) workers, over half of Millennials (54 percent), and over two-fifths of Generation X (44 percent) are experiencing these instances, compared to just one-third of Baby Boomers and Traditionalists. The results show that many workers are susceptible to experiencing low energy at the end of the workday, suggesting a correlation between work life and the ability to function after work hours.


Additional key findings:

  • One-third of the 1,000 U.S. workers sampled in this study said it was difficult for them to unwind after work.
  • 2 in 5 U.S. workers in the study said they avoid tasks that require high focus or concentration after work.
  • Over 1 in 3 of U.S. workers (38 percent) said they miss out on nonwork activities due to exhaustion from work.


"Mental health in the workplace is an ongoing issue that needs to be discussed," said Wendi Safstrom, SHRM Foundation president. "Employers have the opportunity to provide mental health resources and inclusive environments that support and encourage their employees in their work lives and beyond. This discussion is critical to understanding the existing gaps and how workplaces can be a change agent."


The SHRM Foundation, which is campaigning to raise awareness of the need for mental health support in the workplace, offers multiple resources to address this issue. From its Workplace Mental Health Ally certificate to its recently released Mental Health in Your Workplace Field Guide, SHRM Foundation has built a movement to prioritize workplace mental health and promote mental health dialogue and benefits in the workplace. For more information about what SHRM Foundation is doing for mental health in the workplace, please visit the SHRM Foundation website.

A sample of 1,000 U.S. workers was surveyed using a third-party online panel, The sample was representative of the U.S. population. The survey was administered between March 15, 2023, and March 28, 2023. For the purposes of this study, we refer to U.S. workers as those who are working full-time or part-time in the United States.
About the SHRM Foundation  
Founded in 1966, the SHRM Foundation is the 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm of SHRM, the world's largest HR professional society. SHRM represents nearly 325,000 HR professionals across the globe, impacting 235 million workers and their families. The SHRM Foundation mobilizes and equips HR to lead positive social change so that all talent and workplaces can prosper and thrive. Its robust resources, meaningful partnerships and evidence-based programming educate and empower HR professionals to hire diverse talent, build inclusive workplaces, prioritize workplace mental health and wellness, develop and support the next generation of HR professionals, and help employees find purpose at work and beyond. Learn more at shrmfoundation.org



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