Tuesday 11 August 2020 6:06 pm

Half of businesses fear staff at risk of pandemic burnout

Almost half of managers at British businesses fear their staff are at risk of burnout, as the pandemic forces employers to adapt to new ways of working.

More than a third of employees surveyed by recruitment firm Robert Walters that their mental health and wellbeing had suffered as result of working longer hours during the outbreak.

Those working from home recorded a 35 per cent increase in productivity, as 87 per cent of respondents said they felt pressured to keep productivity levels consistently high.

The World Health Organization officially recognised burnout as a legitimate medical diagnosis in May, brought on by the rapid increase in people working remotely during the pandemic.feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;

Symptoms include increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.

“There is no denying that mental health and wellbeing has been on the agenda for most employers — even pre-Covid,” said Sam Walters, director of professional services at Robert Walters.

“Burnout is an entirely different and recently recognised condition which, unlike other mental health issues, can be directly linked to work. As a result, employers have a crucial and central role to play in order to ensure their staff do not reach the point of burnout.”

Only a third of companies in the UK offer the level of support for mental health and wellness that is required by law, the recruiter said.

Factors leading to or worsening burnout among staff included unmanageable workload expectations, lack of autonomy and recognition, and poor company culture.

It comes as workers prepare to head back to the office, as employers and local authorities work together to revitalise the City.