Burnout Britain

Burnout Britain
9 Dec 2021

The impact of Covid

After what we’ve all been through over the past two years, it’s no surprise that many employees are suffering from workplace burnout as a result of Covid-19.

In September, the mental health charity Mind surveyed 40,000 employees over 114 organisations and found the wellbeing of 41% of employees had got worse during the pandemic, while about half of respondents said their work life had interfered with their home life. 

The World Health Organisation recognise burnout as an 'occupational phenomenon', it characterises it in three ways:

  • Feelings of exhaustion

  • Increased mental distance from your job, or feelings of negativity or cynicism towards it

  • Reduced professional efficacy

The physical and emotional exhaustion that turns into burnout doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of hundreds of incidents of stress that ultimately lead to employees hitting the wall, mentally checking out, or even leaving their jobs entirely.


Helping employees recover from the trauma of the pandemic is not just the right thing to do, it makes a lot of business sense.

Research by Deloitte found that poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45bn a year and for every £1 spent by employers on mental health interventions they receive £5 back in reduced absence, productivity and staff turnover.

So, what can employers do? Taking a break from a stressful environment can produce immediate results. In September, Nike gave all of their staff a week off to recover from the pressures of the pandemic.  Others such as PWC have told staff that they can decide when and where they work.  There are many more examples of employers trying to ease the pressure.

Gemma Sofield head of HR at Four comments: “We are finding that many candidates are looking for a new role as they have felt underappreciated and de valued as a result of the pandemic.

“They are looking for positions in companies who can provide more well-being support and reward opportunities.

“In such a competitive recruitment market, employers need to think carefully about how they look after their employees. It doesn’t have to be as much as an extra week off work, small gestures of appreciation and recognition motivate people and they can be done immediately.

"When people feel inspired, motivated and supported in their work, they do more and their overall health and wellbeing improves."

Gemma adds: “Other ways to help employees is by encouraging them to unplug after work. Working from home and home schooling during the pandemic resulted in employees, working around the clock and many are finding it difficult to go back to a normal routine.

“They need to take that break to ensure that they return refreshed an invigorated and this needs to be encouraged by senior management teams.”

How Four Recruitment can help

At Four Recruitment, we specialise in supporting clients with their talent management and ensuring you find the best candidates for your business. We'll support your throughout the entire hiring process to ensure you have a competitive edge in this very challenging market.

If you would like to speak to someone about how we can help you put a health and well being programme into your business please contact gemma@4recruiting.co.uk


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