Editorial 23 July

In recent years burnout has become a mainstream concern in workplaces whilst globally we’ve seen increased rates of stress and work-related mental ill health amongst professionals.

In 2019 the WHO officially recognised burnout as a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that hasn’t been successfully managed. We’ve evolved into an ‘always on’ era of workers, answering emails at all hours and not properly switching of–like we know we should. COVID-19 has only exacerbated this with our homes becoming our offices.

Recent research from LinkedIn and Mental Health Foundation reported 58% of HR leaders fear that the mental toll of homeworking will cause them to lose staff who may be forced to take time off due to burnout. Thus, why we decided to focus this week’s issue on this incredibly important topic, including solutions to help employers reduce the risk amongst their people.

In an exclusive interview, three-time start-up tech CEO and founder Jason Shen opened up with me about the factors which led to his experiencing burnout during the lockdown period of the crisis and he offered personal advice for other at-risk leaders and founders. Meanwhile, CEO of Mental Health First Aid England, Simon Blake OBE, offers his ten tips which can help anyone prevent themselves from burning out.

A new report highlights that nurses and midwives are at greater risk of stress, burnout and mental health problems than those in most other jobs. The Society of Occupational Medicine offers recommendations to help ensure the mental wellbeing of these critical workers is looked after as we continue to face the health pandemic.

Yerbo’s Head of Behavioural Sciences, Carlos Sponton shares free data-based burnout prevention tools employers can make available to staff. He also identifies key signs for managers to monitor on their teams to tell if people are close to burning out, and what to do about it.

Effective occupational health in workplaces is critical toward preventing prolonged employee stress and burnout. Claire Farrow reports on why the UK’s Society of Occupational Medicine is calling on swift action by the government to ensure the UK population has access to occupational health advice and assessment in the wake of the ongoing health crisis.

Finally, Annabel Lee covers one proposed UK policy solution to help decrease worker stress and boost the economy: the four-day work week.

We hope you find this week’s issue enjoyable and valuable!

Well wishes,
Heather Kelly
Online Editor, Make a Difference News


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