A “explosion“burn-out. This is what the barometer of the psychological health of French employees, produced by OpinionWay and presented on May 26, on the eve of a gradual return to face-to-face in June.

First key figure of this survey: the burn-out rate, also called professional exhaustion, which has “doubled in one year, peaking at two million people with severe burnout“, explains to AFP Christophe Nguyen, head of the Franco-Quebec firm Empreinte Humaine, specializing in the prevention of psychosocial risks.

Sickness stops in the coming months

In fact, this “severe burnout“translates to a form of”dehumanisation“, with”people who work like robots to protect themselves from their emotions” and that “self-censor“for fear of talking about it, recalls Christophe Nguyen.

Problem: “with such figures, in a context of a return to the offices, we can unfortunately expect a new explosion in sick leaves in the coming months“he continues.

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44% of employees in psychological distress

Other figures “very disturbing“, according to the barometer: those indicators of the psychological state of employees. Thus, 44% of employees are currently in”psychological distress“, an indicator of mental health, validated internationally and used to diagnose mental disorders. And 17% are in so-called high distress.

The survey also reveals that six out of ten employees believe that their management “does not realize the psychological state of the employees and does not act on the basis of“.

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Depression and fear of losing your job

Then, the rate of depression requiring support among employees is 36%, including 21% at risk of severe depression. And 56% of short-time workers have a “depressive risk“.

At the same time, 15% of employees say they have been absent for psychological health reasons for a year. The average number of days of absence per employee is 2.83.

Finally, a quarter of employees say they have “afraid of losing their job“. This figure rises to 39% among people on short-time work.

Most affected managers and teleworkers

The most exposed function is that of manager, since burn-out affects them 1.5 times more and since 52% of them are in psychological distress. Six in ten managers say they cannot do their job as they would like.

Teleworkers are also more exposed, with 46% of them in psychological distress than their face-to-face colleagues (40%), but eight out of 10 want to continue teleworking one to three days a week.

Because if seven out of 10 employees think that a face-to-face return is “necessary for team cohesion“, half of teleworkers do not want”not come back to the office like before“. They say they fear in particular”not being able to do the same hourly amplitudes“that during confinement and that they”do not hold” workload.

Degradation of physical health

But psychological health is not the only one impacted by a year of health crisis, confinements and upheavals in lifestyles. The physical health of employees, too, has deteriorated. 40% of them say they have sleep problems, 37% musculoskeletal pain and tension, 19% digestive problems, 26% headaches and 10% nausea.

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