Stress, burnout to affect quarter of Dutch workers by 2030: expert

If nothing changes, stress and high workloads will affect a quarter of Dutch workers to such an extent that they will have to work less or not at all by 2030, according to service provider Arbo Unie. The number of employees with a burnout doubled in the past 20 years and that trend will only continue, Arbo Unie predicts, AD reports.

The number of burned-out people is increasing rapidly in more and more sectors, Willem van Rhenen, professor at Nyenrode University and stress expert and company doctor at Arbo Unie, said to the newspaper. 20 percent of teachers and other school staff suffer from burnout complaints. A quarter of workers in the healthcare sector struggle under too high workloads. And up to a quarter of young people report symptoms of stress and burnout.

"These figures show where the problem lies. At the same time it is a problem that is difficult to tackle", Van Rhenen said. "At present, many sectors already have a large labor shortage. As a result, people at work are getting busier, which in turn leads to more burnout complaints."

According to Van Rhenen, employers shouldn't only look at what causes stress at work, but also at what energizes people and encourages them to tackle difficult tasks together. People have three basic needs, he said to the newspaper - autonomy, connectedness and competence. People want to know that they contribute, that they belong, and that they can develop further, he explained. Employers should invest in those needs. 

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