Employee burnout rose to 40 per cent in the third quarter of 2022, an eight per cent rise from May, with the most significant increase in the U.S., where 43 per cent of employees reported feeling burned out, according to a new global survey by Future Forum.

The survey, which polled more than nearly 11,000 employees across Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S., found a gender gap between women and men on the issue of burnout, with female workers showing 32 per cent more burnout than their male counterparts. In addition, younger employees were more likely to experience burnout, with nearly half (49 per cent) of respondents aged 18 to 29 saying they feel burned out compared with just 38 per cent of those age 30 or older.

Read: Half of U.S. workers experiencing burnout: survey

The survey also found employees who are burned out reported 22-times worse stress and anxiety at work compared with employees who aren’t. Burnout was closely associated with degraded employee performance, including 32 per cent worse productivity and 60 per cent worse ability to focus. And employees who are burned out reported being three-times more likely or very likely to look for a new job in the coming year.

Among all global respondents, 65 per cent said they’d prefer working some of the time from the office and some of the time remotely. Nearly twice as many executives (38 per cent) said they’d prefer to work from the office three to four days a week, compared with 24 per cent of non-executives. And non-executives are more than three-times as likely as their bosses to want to work fully remotely.

Employees with flexibility showed higher scores for productivity, connection and company culture. Respondents who have full flexibility reported 29 per cent higher productivity and 53 per cent greater ability to focus than workers with no ability to shift their schedules. In addition, employees with schedule flexibility are 26 per cent less likely to be burned out and reported more than five-times greater ability to manage work-related stress.

Read: Editorial: Employers, flex your flexible working muscles

“Offering schedule flexibility is a genuine means to show your employees that you trust them and trust begets engagement,” said Helen Kupp, senior director and co-founder of Future Forum, in the report. “Schedule flexibility has long been a perk afforded to the C-suite, but the data makes a good case that flexibility should be offered more widely to all.”

Employees who work remotely or have a hybrid arrangement were also more likely to say they feel connected to their direct manager and their company’s values and equally or more likely to feel connected to their immediate teams as fully in-office workers are. And flexible remote work policies were cited as the No. 1 factor that has improved company culture over the past two years.

Specifically among employees at an executive level, the survey found they’re reporting 20 per cent worse work-life balance, 40 per cent more work-related stress and anxiety and a 15 per cent drop in satisfaction with the working environment. The downward trend in C-suite sentiment is present among executives at small and medium businesses, but it’s even more pronounced among executives at larger organizations with 1,000 or more employees, according to the report.

Read: Survey finds generational divide in impact of remote work on work-life balance