The increased pace of business life has led to more than half (52%) of Britain’s employees claiming to have experienced one or more symptoms of over-work or burnout in the past six months.
According to a report from global recruitment and human resources consultancy, Hudson, workplace burnout is seen to be having a direct impact on the bottom line and corporate reputation of 15% per cent of UK businesses.
One in seven (14%) of the HR managers interviewed have lost one or more members of staff due to burnout, with 36% witnessing a decline in productivity and 79% reporting an increase in the number of sick days being taken.
One third of employees (31%) have experienced physical or emotional exhaustion in the past six months and 26% suffered loss of sleep or illness due to worrying about work.
About half of employees (49%) and employers (46%) thought the situation had worsened in the past five years, with the main causes being the increased pace of business life and a greater competitive environment, demanding round-the-clock availability and response but fewer employees to do the work.
Yet there seems to be a worrying state of denial among employers. While 92% believed burnout exists as a real workplace issue, just 35% admit it is present in their own company (compared to 52% of employees).
More than half (59%) of employers have no formal process for helping an employee who is suffering from burnout (falling to 30% among smaller employers), and 35% of employees are concerned that their employers have made no attempts to address increased workloads.
John Rose, chief executive of Hudson UK, said working long hours and being available 24×7 goes with the territory for many UK employees, but burnout goes deeper than this.
“It is worrying that business managers do not appear to be able to increase productivity and hold on to top talent at the same time,” he said.
“For employers, an increase in absenteeism, premature career change and a decline in interest and proactivity among employees can have a serious long-term effect on businesses success.”