More than 10 million workers in the UK have called in sick as a result of feeling burnt out, a study has suggested.
The research by MetLife UK means burnout could be costing UK businesses more than £700m a year, as more than two in five employees (44%) admitted to calling in sick because of feeling exhausted, stressed, depressed, overwhelmed and unmotivated, the health insurance and employee benefits provider has warned.
The conclusions were extrapolated from a poll of 1,428 part-time and full-time UK workers carried out in February.
For employers, MetLife argued this meant more than 80 million hours were being lost as a result of burnout, with employers having to make arrangements to cover staff calling in sick or asking colleagues to pick up workloads in their absence, so increasing workload and potential stress and exhaustion still further.
Women were much more likely than men to call in sick to work because of feeling burnt out, it argued, with more than half (54%) of women admitting to struggling with burnout, compared to just over a third (35%) of men.
A further third (34%) of workers admitted they have, or would, call in sick simply because they felt they needed to take a break from work, indicating potentially gruelling workloads.
Amy Tomlinson, head of HR at MetLife UK, said: “Repeatedly taking time off due to stress or burnout can cost businesses significant losses in both time and money, so having holistic wellbeing policies in place alongside manageable workloads is critical as the two are inextricably linked.
“Introducing policies that prevent stress from the outset and providing proper processes to manage stressful situations can all help to avoid greater issues occurring in the long term. Continuing to highlight all avenues of support available to staff, including any benefits, is critical to creating a strong support framework,” she added.