Employee burnout concept showing matches with people heads on top, one of which is burnt out..
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Ireland among the worst in Europe for employee burnout, research says

14 Oct 2022

Irish companies are struggling to find talent, especially in Dublin, as workers emigrate due to the cost of living and housing crisis.

Two reports released today (14 October) paint a concerning picture of employee wellbeing in Ireland.

Research carried out by Gallup and HR tech unicorn Workhuman found that three in 10 Irish employees surveyed reported that they felt burnt out “very often” or “always”.

This statistic puts Ireland on par with the UK and Belgium. All other countries surveyed were found to have lower levels of employee burnout. In total, more than 12,000 workers in 11 European countries and the US took part in the survey.

Not all countries performed as poorly as Ireland, the UK and Belgium. Just 1.5 in 10 in Switzerland said they felt burnt out as frequently.

Belgium and Ireland also performed poorly in terms of workplace stress, with 6.5 in 10 workers in both countries saying they experienced stress during “a lot” of the previous day. This was more than all other countries surveyed, with respondents in the US the least likely to experience this.

Just 4.5 in 10 employees in Ireland said they were “thriving” — meaning that they rated their current lives positively and have optimistic expectations for their future wellbeing. Belgium and Norway scored similarly here. Respondents in all other countries were more likely to be thriving, with 6 in 10 in the Netherlands and Denmark describing themselves this way.

As well as burnout and stress, the majority of employees in Ireland are unlikely to feel strong connections with their colleagues or feel a sense of belonging in their workplace, the research found.

Just 2 in 10 strongly agreed that they have meaningful connections with their co-workers, while 2.5 in 10 strongly agreed that they belong at their organisation.

Irish workers’ workplace wellbeing woes are being added to by external factors, according to Morgan McKinley’s quarterly employment monitor. The report revealed that the housing and cost of living crises are having a major impact on hiring, with Dublin-based companies particularly struggling to find talent due to limited accommodation.

Commenting on the findings, Trayc Keevans, global FDI director at Morgan McKinley Ireland, said “There has been a notable and sustained decline in the availability of emerging talent. The impact of this is being felt in the employment market with employers struggling to fill entry-level and graduate positions as this talent cohort is emigrating due to the lack of housing and the cost of living crisis.”

The research anticipates another increase in emigration in January 2023 after qualifications are completed.

Keevans added that remaining talent did not seem to be willing to compromise on salary demands, meaning it is – nominally at least – an employee’s market. Previous research from Morgan McKinley has indicated this would be the case throughout this year.

Referring to the tech sector, she said, “We are seeing some hiring freezes and we are starting to see some redundancies.”

However, tech is seeing less of a loss of young talent when compared to other sectors, as technology graduates in Ireland “are often comfortable enough with their salary and job options not to feel the need to emigrate”.

That said, Keevans warned that international awareness of Ireland’s scarce housing options was leading to a decrease in the volume of overseas tech talent applying for jobs in Ireland over the last quarter, meaning the sector has less of a talent pool to choose from.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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