More than a third of UK bosses are on the brink of burnout, while nearly one in five are currently experiencing it because of rising energy prices, rocketing inflation and supply chain delays.
Rising costs are already one of the main causes of burnout, with 36 per cent of SMB owners citing that as a cause, alongside long hours (39 per cent) and heavy mental workload (37 per cent), new research by HR tech firm Sage showed this morning.
The findings, shared with City A.M. today, show that more than half (54 per cent) say worries about hiring and retaining staff, amid the UK’s crippling
skills shortage, is affecting their own mental health and wellbeing.
Louise Doherty, 36, was forced to close her £1m tech startup Yoller last month after four years of working for 19 hours almost every day left her in tears and unable to cope with the stress.
Doherty said: “I was obsessed with work, everything else in my life was put to one side. I would often start at 6am, work flat out then crawl into bed at 1am and a few hours later start it all again.”
She told City A.M. that “the moment I knew I was experiencing burnout was when I forced myself to take a holiday – when I came back and saw the mountain of work waiting for me, I burst into tears.”
The small business owner warned many others will follow as pressure rises on bosses this autumn.
The findings are a worrying sign of things to come, as The Bank of England predicts inflation – fuelled by energy price rises – could hit 11 per cent by the end of the year, hiking wholesale costs and reducing the amount of money customers have in their pockets.
Aoife Fitzmaurice, VP of Workplace Futures at Sage, said this morning: “SMBs have demonstrated incredible resilience throughout the pandemic. But the ongoing effects of this, alongside rampant inflation and a recruitment crisis, are taking a toll on business owners.”
According to the research, 4 per cent of SMB bosses believe their work is harming their health and 55 per cent have considered walking away. The issue also has wider reaching implications for the UK workforce, with SMBs employing 16.3m people in the UK.