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Understanding government employee burnout

August 2023

Addressing government employees’ burnout can help keep workers committed and feel appreciated for their work. So, what’s driving burnout and how can agency leadership alleviate it? Read on for Eagle Hill Consulting’s insights and ideas to help reduce government employee burnout.

Eagle Hill Consulting’s latest Government Employee Burnout Survey reveals that nearly half of the government workforce (47%) is burnt out. Government employee burnout remains alarmingly high, despite trending downward since this time last year.

When asked about the causes of their burnout, the majority of government employees cite workload and staff shortages. 

Government Employee Burnout Survey
Eagle Hill Consulting regularly surveys U.S. government employees (federal, state, and local) on the topic of employee burnout. Our ongoing research provides agency leadership with insights into the drivers, organizational impacts, and remedies for government employee burnout.

Government employee burnout rates remain high

Government employee burnout trend

Source: Eagle Hill Consulting Workforce Burnout Survey

Burnout levels for government employees vary by gender and generation.

Burnout reported by gender

Burnout reported by generation

Percent of employees reporting burnout at work

Source: Eagle Hill Consulting Workforce Burnout Survey

When asked about the causes of their burnout, over half of government employees say their workload and staffing shortages are the biggest drivers. 

Top 5 causes of government employee burnout




Staff shortages


Lack of communication
and support 


Work-life balance


Time pressures 

Percent of government employees who attribute their burnout to the above causes

Source: Eagle Hill Consulting Workforce Burnout Survey

Guidance for agencies on how to reduce government employee burnout

Government employees share insights on steps their agencies can take to alleviate burnout, from increasing flexibility to adjusting workload. 

Remedies for burnout


Increase flexibility of working hours or days


Decreased workload


A four-day workweek


Reduce administrative burden


Continue working from home or working from home more


Better health and wellness benefits


More on-site amenities at your physical workplace


Ability to relocate to a new location or work from multiple locations

Percent of government employees who say the ideas above would reduce their burnout

Source: Eagle Hill Consulting Workforce Burnout Survey

Discussing causes and solutions is essential to extinguishing burnout – and government employees are open to having those conversations with their leadership. 

Are you comfortable talking to your manager or employer about your burnout?


of burnt-out government
employees say “yes”

Source: Eagle Hill Consulting Workforce Burnout Survey

One area to closely monitor will be the shift to more in-person work. Our research indicates that government employees value in-person work, but they also want flexibility to help alleviate stress. Finding the right balance will be increasingly important for managers and leaders.”
Melissa Jezior, Eagle Hill Consulting President and Chief Executive Officer


The findings are from the ongoing Eagle Hill Consulting Workforce Burnout Surveys conducted by Ipsos, most recently in August 2023. The survey included 1,347 respondents from a random sample of employees across the U.S. including 555 federal, state, and local government workers.