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Are you worried about employee burnout?

27 Feb 2024

There is an increased pressure on leaders across the workforce to consider the wellbeing of their employees. A study by Deloitte has found that 77% of professionals have experienced burnout at their current job. When an employee expresses concerns surrounding their wellbeing, it can be challenging to know whether, or how to deal with it. We consider key mechanisms in both preventing and assisting with employee burnout.

Employment Assistance Programme (EAP)

EAP’s are employee benefit programmes offered by most employers to help employees deal with personal issues that may adversely impact their work performance, health and wellbeing.

EAP’s can include assessments, short-term counselling and referral services for employees and their immediate family. This can allow employees to seek support when dealing with work related problems, that are impacting their physical and mental wellbeing at work.

Typically, EAP’s cost between £5 – £15 per employee depending on the type of programme the employer chooses and what services are provided.

Sabbatical policy

A sabbatical provides a work hiatus for employees where they can have an extended amount of time to relax and rejuvenate, so that when they return to work they are ready to dive in. Most employers offer a sabbatical to employees who have been with the company for a certain period of time, such as five or ten years.

A sabbatical is a great way for employees to refresh themselves if they are experiencing burnout. An extended holiday allows employees to recharge their batteries and come back to work with a renewed focus.

Sabbaticals can be hugely beneficial to businesses as employees often return to work with new ideas and inspirations and with a renewed sense of motivation. Offering sabbaticals also enables junior employees to have the opportunity to grow in their roles, as typically it is the more experienced employees that qualify for the extended leave benefit. Having a sabbatical policy can also encourage employees to stay with their employer longer, consequently reducing employee turnover.

Flexible working

Most employers now offer a flexible working policy, particularly since Covid, as employees are looking for a better work-life balance. Flexible working allows employees to spend less time and money on commuting, and instead use this time for hobbies and activities.

Flexibility also provides employees with a greater level of autonomy and trust from their employer, which can increase overall productivity.

Expected to come into force this summer, the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 will enhance the existing right for employees to request flexible working arrangements.

For further details regarding the new legislation, please refer to our article what to expect in employment law in 2024 or contact us directly.

Buddies and regular catch-ups

Having a buddy system in the workplace is a beneficial tool to preserve employee wellbeing. Buddies help build valuable relationships through creating an effective learning experience. Employees have a direct point of contact that they can seek support from, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

A buddy can also improve confidence within employees by promoting communication between peers and those in more senior positions. Buddies are more likely to express concerns to each other, and discuss any potential workplace issues which can improve their overall wellbeing.

Ensuring that employees have regular catch-ups with their managers also promotes relationship building, and allows employees to feel more comfortable in expressing any potential concerns.

Screen breaks

Encouraging employees to take time away from their desks is crucial to employee wellbeing and preventing burnout. Employees are likely to be more encouraged to partake in activities away from their desk during work hours as opposed to social events after work.

For example, coffee and cake mornings, yoga or gym classes in the office, morning walks. These activities are a method of allowing employees to feel refreshed and rejuvenated rather than the typical after work social drinks.

How can we help?

Do you need advice on implementing a sabbatical policy? Have you reviewed your flexible working policy so that it is in line with the upcoming reforms? Are you experiencing an increase in employee burnout and need support managing employees on long term sickness leave and assisting them back to work?

Contact our employment team for further assistance.



Emma Saunders

Senior Associate

Sophie Campbell