Biopharma staffers exhausted and susceptible to burnout, report says

Many employees at pharma companies find their work exhausting and are susceptible to burnout, according to a new report from workplace culture expert O.C. Tanner Institute. 

Among pharma employees surveyed by the group, 48% reported finding their work exhausting, with 30% feeling emotionally frustrated. In O.C. Tanner's 2023 Global Culture Report (PDF), the group surveyed 36,000 employees including 298 from the pharma industry. The study was conducted in 20 countries with workers from a variety of industries.

While the level of worker exhaustion is high in pharma, O.C. Tanner found higher levels in other industries including restaurants (67%), healthcare (59%) and social services (55%).

The lowest levels of exhaustion were found in media and entertainment (26%) and metals and mining (28%).

A poor balance between work and personal lives leads to exhaustion and potential burnout, the report suggests. When the balance isn’t correct, workers are more likely to suffer burnout, O.C. Tanner says.

What can relieve burnout? An organization that makes employees feel appreciated for their efforts and accomplishments is less likely to have burned out workers, the report says.

In workplaces where these factors are lacking, absence and turnover are more likely, Robert Ordever, a workplace culture expert at O.C. Tanner, said in a release.

Another report earlier this year from O.C. Tanner indicated that 34% of pharma industry employees felt like outsiders in their jobs, compared to an overall 32% figure in all sectors.

In addition, two months ago, the group found that 39% of pharma employees said the recognition they receive at work is not meaningful, even though 69% of those surveyed said their leaders acknowledge their contributions