Nearly half of UK employees have suffered from excessive stress over the last year, leading to 10% leaving their jobs
According to Google search data, the last three months have seen a 221% spike in searches for “signs of burnout”. Experts are warning that we’re seeing a “burnout build-up” for employees, which is likely to grow as we move into the winter months.
This is the culmination of a year of heightened risk of burnout among employees, with the latest data showing a 31% overall increase in searches for “signs of burnout” over the last 12 months – when compared to the previous year.
Today, National Stress Awareness Day, experts are urging HR and leadership teams to pay attention to the issue, particularly as winter approaches; it’s a time of year when mental health concerns often surge.
Excessive stress is a major predictor of burnout and other mental health impacts. A mental health and employee stress study, speaking to employees from over 500 companies in the UK, found that almost half of employees in the UK (47%) experienced excessive stress at work in the past year. This is a big challenge for employers who are trying to retain their talent, since one in eight have considered leaving their current role because of excessive work-related stress. Statistics show that one in 10 workers have in fact resigned in the last 12 months for this reason.
The research revealed some of the biggest impacts of stress. These are an inability to sleep (reported by 41%), physical health impacts (30%) and withdrawal from social interactions and relationships (26%).
What can HR teams do to tackle excessive stress?
When employees were asked about the support received from their workplace, one in every eight employees felt they didn’t receive the required support. A quarter of employees reported that the greatest cause of excessive stress in their job role was an unmanageable workload. This was followed by financial concerns, with 24% saying the excessive stress was a result of inadequate pay, which left them struggling to pay their bills. Dissatisfaction with employers and managers was also a significant contributing factor, with 18% of employees saying that management was poor or lacking, and 17% reporting a lack of support from their company.
Claire Brown, qualified life and career coach, says: “Employees should be encouraged to prioritise their health and wellbeing above productivity by taking regular breaks from the screen and getting fresh air where possible. Providing alternative and innovative ways for connection and communication between team members is also valuable.
“By adopting a flexible attitude and approach to how and when work is completed, this alleviates some of the pressure and mental strain. As always, communication is key. It’s important for employers to be fair and realistic about what is possible and to seek opportunities to provide practical support to help team members manage their workload.”