In the upcoming year, a substantial impact on businesses is expected due to burnout, as reported by 80% of senior risk professionals surveyed globally. Despite this awareness, only 41% of respondents believe their organisations are adequately prepared to address the challenges posed by this mental health issue, as revealed by the latest International SOS Risk Outlook Report for 2024.
Sally Llewellyn, the Global Security Director at International SOS, emphasised the complex landscape organisations face in 2024, characterised by instability as a prevalent theme in the global security environment. The relentless pace of crises, persisting since the onset of the Covid pandemic, poses a heightened risk of burnout within crisis management teams.
The top five risks anticipated for businesses in 2024:
– Running on Empty: Organisations are at a tangible risk of employee burnout due to ongoing stressors and disruptions, leading to a surge in stress-related absences. Surveyed respondents express a heightened concern for the next 12 months, with the risk level reaching its highest ever at 65%. The report notes a significant increase in crisis management fatigue beyond pre-pandemic levels.
– Climate Crisis: One in four organisations reports operational impacts from events attributed to climate change. Extreme weather events rank as the second-largest category of alerts, emphasising the vulnerability of organisations. About half of the respondents admit to not incorporating climate change into their health and security plans, highlighting potential risks to businesses.
– Global Instability Deepens: Geopolitical tensions, exemplified by crises in Israel and Gaza and the conflict in Ukraine, contribute to global instability. Three out of four respondents anticipate significant impacts on their organisations due to civil and social unrest, political instability, and ongoing geopolitical tensions.
– AI – Risks and Opportunities: While AI holds the potential to revolutionise industries, it complicates the task of distinguishing reliable information from misinformation and disinformation. Over two-fifths of respondents express concerns about the impact of medical misinformation and disinformation on their workforces, underscoring the challenges associated with AI.
– The New Employment Contract: Organisations report increased employee expectations for duty of care, with many taking on responsibilities previously considered government duties. This shift emphasises the end of offering only basic occupational health services and underscores the need for organisations to adapt to evolving expectations in the employment contract.
As organisations navigate these risks, the report emphasises that proactive risk management, collaboration, and adaptability are crucial for ensuring resilience in the face of uncertainties, according to International SOS.