Burnout Britain: 77% of UK Workers Experienced Burnout; 25% of Sick Leave Attributed to It

YuLife, the tech-driven insurance firm committed to inspiring life, has unveiled the findings of a YouGov survey highlighting the prevalence of burnout in the workplace.

The survey revealed that 77% of employees experienced at least one symptom of burnout in the past year, with 23% of sick leave attributed to burnout-related issues.

Burnout significantly impacts individual wellbeing, workplace productivity, employee engagement, and overall company performance. The survey found that 69% of respondents believe employers should support their recovery journey, yet 43% reported that their workplaces do not track burnout symptoms at all.

“As a widespread issue affecting a large proportion of employees, there is a need for employers to recognise burnout and address it proactively to maintain a healthy and productive workforce,” said Sammy Rubin, CEO and Founder, YuLife. “Employers must be aware of the prevalence of burnout, by better tracking burnout symptoms, and implement new strategies to both prevent it, and to help employees successfully recover from burnout before they re-enter the workforce.”

More than half (54%) of employees feel their employers fail to effectively communicate about burnout, and nearly half (42%) report that their company lacks a wellbeing programme. This indicates that UK employers still have significant progress to make in addressing burnout's root causes. The issue is particularly pronounced in specific sectors: 58% of hospitality and leisure workers and 53% of construction workers report the absence of a wellbeing programme in their companies, underscoring a heightened concern within these industries.

Burnout, defined as a state of physical and emotional exhaustion related to work, manifests through symptoms such as fatigue, feelings of helplessness, detachment, cynicism, and being overwhelmed. The persistence of burnout is notable, with 31% experiencing it at least monthly and 50% at least every six months.

Additional findings include:

  • Most employees think that high workload is the leading cause of burnout (33%), followed by bad management (22%) and poor work-life balance (21%)
  • The most common symptom of burnout is tiredness (56%) followed by stress (45%) and loss of motivation (44%)
  • Burnout is highest in medical and health services (53%), education (51%) and retail (50%). Employees in the hospitality and leisure sector felt burnout the least, but still reported a high 35%
  • 43% said that their workplace doesn’t track signs of burnout. When asked how employers track burnout, the most common response was one-on-one meetings with managers (27%)