Upset stressed young Asian business man in suit with hands on head sitting on stairs. Unemployment and layoff concept.

Almost four in 10 financial workers in Canada are feeling burned out as the Covid-19 pandemic looks likely to extend into a third year.

A new study conducted by Mental Health Research Canada and Pollara Strategic Insights found that 39% of finance, legal and insurance workers are feeling burned out at work. That figure is higher than for education and childcare workers (38%) and first responders (36%).

The only industries that reported a higher burnout rate were transportation (40%) and health and patient care (53%). The national average across industries was 35%.

Burnout is often characterized by “emotional exhaustion, cynicism, negativity and reduced efficiency in the workplace,” a release about the survey said.

Workers in the finance, legal and insurance industries were more positive than other sectors when it came to their comfort talking to their supervisors about their mental health challenges (33%) and addressing behaviours that harm the mental health of employees (44%).

However, less than one-third finance of workers said they feel comfortable talking to their co-workers (29%) and high-level management (31%) about their mental health challenges.

Only 20% of respondents indicated their work was having a “significant impact” on their psychological health — far fewer than those in health and patient care (42%) and first responders (40%).

Two-thirds of finance workers indicated their employers offer services or benefits to support employees and 62% said their employer would support them if they were psychologically distressed. However, only about half (51%) said their employer helps them cope with workplace stress.

Despite this, those in the financial, legal and insurance industries had the highest ratings for most of the workload and work-life balance categories. For instance, 60% stated they’re able to reasonably balance the demands of work and personal life, and 57% indicated their employers promote work-life balance — the highest among any of the industries surveyed.

Pollara Strategic Insights conducted the online survey of 5,510 randomly selected individuals for Mental Health Research Canada. Of the 2,216 interviews conducted for the study, 356 were with finance, legal and insurance workers. Online surveys can’t be assigned a margin of error because they don’t randomly sample the population.

Workplace Strategies for Mental Health and Canada Life were sponsor partners of the study.