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Employee Burnout Reaches Record High in the UK

Mental Health UK explains that burnout is a physical and emotional exhaustion that occurs when an individual experiences long-term stress in their job or when they physically or emotionally feel drained for a long time. The symptoms include feeling helpless, self-doubt, and procrastination. Studies show that 46% of workers in the UK feel more prone to extreme levels of stress, while one in five workers felt that they are unable to manage stress and pressure in the workplace.

Among the many reasons people feel burned out, 81% of people agree that money worries are their main cause of stress. Moreover, 77% of people claimed that job insecurity and fear of redundancy contribute to their increasing levels of burnout. However, Mental Health UK found that only 23% of people are aware that their employers have plans to help them overcome burnout. With this, employers in the UK should initiate the effort to communicate these programs to their employees and encourage them to participate.

But why do businesses need to worry about employee burnout?

How Does Burnout Affect Small Businesses?The World Financial Review emphasised that workplace wellbeing should be the main priority of every business because focused and motivated employees are the ones that will help businesses to succeed. They explained that if workers feel overwhelmed, they could show signs of cynicism and negativity that will affect how they apply themselves in the workplace.

Increasing disinterest and disengagement among employees will also significantly affect their productivity because they won’t be motivated to see the company grow. Lastly, if employees are overly stressed, they’re more likely to take sick days and seek new job opportunities. Data revealed that employee absences in the UK cost businesses about £7 billion every year. Meanwhile, employee turnover accounts for a loss of around £8.6 billion.

How to Reduce Employee Burnout

  Offer Flexible Work Arrangements
The World Financial Review suggests that businesses can suppress burnout by restoring a work-life balance for employees. They explained that if employees are living to work instead of working to live, companies must take action to reverse the situation. One of the ways businesses can make work-life balance possible is by offering a flexible work schedule or arrangement. Ardian Mula shared how technology can help businesses make their operations accessible to consumers and employees, even in a remote setup. For example, by deploying online software, companies can offer flexible working arrangements that wouldn’t require employees to physically go to work at the same time. This would reduce the travel time from home to work, which can also reduce employee stress.

  Implement Four-Day Workweek Schedules
Another method employers can implement is reducing the working hours. Although this concept may seem counterproductive, more companies are now recognising the potential benefits of reducing work hours, such as boosting the overall wellness of employees and reducing the likelihood of them experiencing burnout. The four-day workweek solution that LHH suggests is shown to be effective in reducing employee stress levels without compromising work quality. In the study it showed that workers doing between 35 and 36 hours with no decrease in pay saw an improvement in productivity, customer service, and wellbeing – which includes a drop in stress levels and burnout. This indicates that the four-day workweek method could be the solution businesses can use to prevent burnout.

  Invest in Employee Wellness Programs
According to Dr Vivek Murthdy, employees nowadays are susceptible to feelings of loneliness and isolation due to remote work. Feeling detached and alone may lead to burnout, so employers must recognise and address this issue by investing in employee wellness programs. Some of the activities businesses can do is encourage employees to have Mindful Mondays, where every Monday, managers and employees take the time to meditate and relax to set a calm tone for the workday. Studies have shown that meditation can relieve physical and mental stress such as irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression. Even if most businesses are still working remotely, it doesn’t mean they can’t implement wellness programs virtually.