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Staples survey: Employees in the Southwest are the most burned out

Employees in the Southwest feel the most burned out and also log the most work after hours, according to the Staples Advantage Workplace Index, a recent study of office workers in the U.S. conducted by the business-to-business division of Staples. Coming in second in terms of feeling burned out is the Northeast, followed by the Midwest and Southeast, with workers in the West feeling the least burnout.

The majority of Southwest employees acknowledge that burnout is a motivator for a job search. As a result, employees in this region are more likely to say they’ll make a job change in the next 12 months than their counterparts in other regions of the country.

“It’s clear that employees across the country are feeling burned out, with some regions in worse shape than others,” said John Burke, executive vice president, chief culture officer, Staples, Inc. “It’s important for organizations to take steps to improve employee well-being. Our research identified several approaches employers can take to help with recruitment, retention, and engagement, such as offering more flexible schedules, improving their breakrooms and providing more engaging office spaces.”

Three ways to improve employee happiness

The majority of employees (53 percent) report they work more than eight hours a day, and 53 percent feel burnt out. With employees consistently working longer hours, employers can take a few steps to recruit, retain, and engage their workforce:

Offer a more flexible schedule. One in five employees cite work-life balance issues as a reason for considering a job change. Additionally, one in four employees say flexible schedules and the option to telecommute motivates them to do their best work, and nearly a third note work-life balance as a leading contributor to their loyalty.

Encourage breaks and improve the breakroom. Nearly half of employees feel they can’t get up from their desk to take a break, and 45 percent eat lunch at their desk. Sixty-one percent of employees say having a break to refresh would increase productivity. A third say their employer could help them avoid experiencing burnout by encouraging them to take breaks. The Index also found that a well-stocked breakroom leads to happier employees and less stress.

Provide better office design. The overwhelming majority of employees describe their office space as standard, plain, or dull, and 46 percent would like to see more attention paid to office design. Employees report that a well-designed office would improve creativity (42 percent), interest in their work (39 percent), and their work ethic (31 percent). In addition, nearly a third of employees say a well-designed office would improve the amount of work they do.