Employee burnout fears

Employers are being warned to look out for signs of ‘burnout’ among their staff as data reveals a surge in employee demand for support due to work-related stress.

Mental Health UK describes burnout as a state of physical and emotional exhaustion’ which can occur when people experience long-term stress in their job or when someone has worked in a physically or emotionally draining role for a long time. Common signs include: feeling tired or drained most of the time; having a cynical or negative outlook; feeling overwhelmed; self-doubt and procrastinating.

The risk of suffering employee burnout has heightened during the pandemic. Research conducted by Perkbox, for example, revealed that 92% of UK GPs reported a rise in people seeking help for work-related stress since the pandemic began. Google search data shows a 221% increase in searches for ‘signs of burnout’ over the last three months.

With the winter period likely to see a further surge in the incidence of employee burnout, employers are being encouraged to look out for early warning signs and put preventions in place. This could include practical support to help employees better manage their workloads or policies such as turning off email servers outside of working hours.