Kelly Pohly left her marketing job in July 2020 to stay home with their three sons after the pandemic increased stress about finding child care, working from home and figuring out the boys' schooling.

Kelly Pohly left her marketing job in July 2020 to stay home with their three sons after the pandemic increased stress about finding child care, working from home and figuring out the boys' schooling. She is seen with sons, Anderson, 3, and Graham, 10 months old, at their Westerville, Ohio home. (Fred Squillante/Columbus Dispatch/TNS)

Women in the workforce, particularly mothers coping with remote work responsibilities, face burn-out at a much greater rate than men, The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. reported Monday in a recent survey.

A July survey by The Hartford found 68% of women in the workforce report burnout, compared with 52% of men. The 16-percentage point gap has widened from nine points in a February survey.

“This high level of burnout and growing gap for women should be cause for alarm for business leaders,” said Jonathan Bennett, head of employee benefits at The Hartford. “The need for flexibility in the workplace has never been greater as the lines between work and home continue to be blurred amid the pandemic.”

The Hartford cited recent research by McKinsey that working mothers in particular are struggling with household responsibilities and the challenges of remote work.

U.S. workers who say they’re burned out also were more likely to look for another job, the national survey showed. Among workers who say they are “extremely likely” to look for a new job in the next six months, 55% say they “always feel burned out” and 16% say they “often feel burned out.”

The Hartford’s survey found 37% of U.S. workers are likely to search for a job in the next six months, with better salary the top reason. Career growth and promotion and improved benefits such as a more flexible schedule and a better workplace culture are the other top reasons, according to the survey.

“The pandemic has changed the workplace — including the hiring landscape — and once again elevating employee benefits and a flexible work culture as critical elements to attracting and retaining talent,” Bennett said.

To help address workplace burnout, U.S. workers surveyed said they want their employers to offer more paid time off, a condensed four-day workweek, flexible schedules, remote work options, company mental-health days and a lighter workload.

The Hartford said its claims data demonstrate that untreated mental health and substance use disorders can lead to absences and prolonged disability.

A national online survey was conducted in the U.S. among about 2,000 adults 18 and older, including 966 full-time and part-time employed respondents. The research was conducted July 27-30 and the margin of error is plus or minus 3%.

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