State of permacrisis leading to employee burnout

Businesses are being urged to address stress and burnout amongst employees, as a study published in Mental Health Awareness Week suggest that 80% of risk management experts believe stress and burnout will impact their business in the year ahead.

According to the Risk Outlook 2024 report from International SOS, employee burnout due to mounting crisis fatigue is becoming a critical issue. The cumulative impact of ongoing crises, coupled with personal stressors such as rising living costs, concerns about climate change and political risks, has significantly impacted individual well-being, according to the report’s authors, fuelling a state of permacrisis, where the traditional cycle of crisis and recovery is replaced by a continuous state of flux and uncertainty. Prolonged exposure to crises contributes to a rise in employee burnout, characterised by feelings of emotional exhaustion and reduced productivity.

Dr Kate O’Reilly, regional medical director at International SOS, said: "The current landscape presents a concerning trend of burnout permeating workplaces globally. We are observing a convergence of factors, including increased workloads, a lack of work-life balance and a climate of constant change and unpredictability. These challenges have propelled employees into uncharted territory, where the lines between professional and personal well-being blur.

“The prevalence of burnout brings organisations to a critical juncture demanding immediate attention. Employers must recognise the significance of this issue and implement preventive measures to mitigate its effects. This requires a deep understanding of the root causes and precursors of burnout, followed by a focus on job design and fostering a work environment that prioritises employees’ holistic well-being and sustainable performance.”

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