Transitioning from a student to a working adult has been a real struggle for Elijah, who works in social service.
This 27-year-old Singaporean graduated from a local university at the peak of the pandemic in mid-2020 and was lucky to find a job in the social service sector.
His job required him to mediate between parties and Elijah, who declined to give his full name, struggled to keep his work performance at an optimal level.
He soon found himself experiencing burnout.
He recounted to AsiaOne how he would feel 'brain-dead' after every work assignment and there were instances when he "suddenly felt like crying for no reason".
“Because of the lack of staff and sometimes staffs' ability to take up the assignment, some of us would need to cover multiple assignments in a day. So at the end of those days, I would sometimes break down because I was so tired,” he added.
Elijah's self-care routine did not help alleviate the burnout and he decided to tender his resignation in Feb 2022 after less than two years in the company.
"I felt my mental health was more important than the salary I was earning," he said.
Elijah is not alone.
In fact, a 2022 report of 1,005 Singaporean employees confirmed what many Singaporeans might have already known – that we are a nation filled with exhausted and emotionally-drained employees.
According to HR solutions company Employment Hero's Wellness at Work report 2022, which surveyed respondents between Feb 28 and March 7 this year, some 62 per cent of the Singaporean workers surveyed said they were experiencing burnout.
And when it comes to work-life balance, 57 per cent said it was either poor or average.
So, if you’re feeling unmotivated or emotionally drained from work, you can take heart knowing that you’re not the only one.
According to the report, burnout and a lack of work-life balance are deeply tied to low productivity and one's capacity to do their best work.
One Reddit netizen, who commented on the report on Tuesday (April 26), said he was amazed at how “only” 62 per cent of Singaporeans suffered from burnout.
Another Reddit user shared: "I'm here in France on holiday and I get the feels that they dgaf (don't give a f***) about working as hard as us, 5-6 pm the cafes are full of people having an evening drink with friends, all ages. Shops start closing, people go have dinner with family. Wish we could be like that."
But it's not all bad news as the report said that employers do acknowledge that they have a role to play in the mental well-being of their employees.
Some 47 per cent of employees polled said that their company is very supportive of employees' mental health.
To compare, only 41 per cent agreed to the same question posed by Employment Hero in their Mental Health in the Workplace Report of February 2021.
"It's extremely encouraging that, when a generation ago there was little to no dialogue around mental health in the workplace," the report read.
Employees are asking employers to listen, communicate and adjust new work arrangements to suit their preferences, according to a study by the Institute of Policy Studies.
Results from the study revealed that employers are being urged to consider making flexi-work arrangements permanent.
From April 26, companies can recall all workers back to the workplace as Singapore eases Covid-19 safe management measures.