Burnout - is it on your radar?


Burnout levels are reportedly rising. So is acceptance that it can significantly impact workplace performance. We look at how proactive Occupational Health can help ...  

There’s always been a little confusion surrounding burnout, with many believing that it’s simply just being tired of work and not a medical condition. However, as burnout levels are increasing and with celebrities opening up about it, there’s been a welcome shift in attitudes and understanding.

What is Burnout?

“Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It can occur when you experience long-term stress in your job, or when you have worked in a physically or emotionally draining role for a long time.”

Many employers now have burnout clear on their radar as there’s been a large rise in burnout levels across the UK. Cases of burnout have doubled over the last year, with 37% of employees experiencing poor mental health related to stress and burnout and 92% reporting that they’ve experienced it throughout their careers.

Burnout is usually related to workloads, or specific work stressors, and it becomes damaging to employee’s mental health and overall wellbeing. It can cause fatigue, intense emotional reactions, feeling withdrawn, negative thinking patterns and avoiding tasks at work, being less productive or taking extra time off (NHS).

In recent news, model and celebrity Bella Hadid, announced that she’s taking a step back from the modelling industry because she was working tirelessly and not getting much satisfaction or positivity from it. Feeling burnt-out from the industry, she left it and started her own new business ventures and spent time focussing on herself. 

What does this have to do with Occupational Health? 

In order to keep a fit and productive workforce, without staff dropping out left, right and centre, it’s crucial that employers invest in staff wellbeing. Making sure that workloads aren’t too heavy, and that staff can speak up about how they’re feeling, will reduce the chances of them feeling overly stressed and burnt-out. Offering mental health support, will allow staff to have preventative measures so that they don’t leave work completely or take too much time-off. It will improve absences and make sure that there’s lower presenteeism levels; meaning that when staff are at work, they’re focused and productive. 

It doesn’t just focus on preventative strategies, but it also helps staff return to work and help their wellbeing states if they have unfortunately reached a state of burnout. Everyone should be able to access support when they need it, and with the state of the NHS waitlists, it’s more important than ever for employers to invest in exceptional occupational health in order to have a healthy and productive workforce.