Boost your employees' wellbeing by giving access to next-day mental health support to those in need.
The International Classification of Diseases defines burnout as ‘a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.’
Burnout is the most common topic that comes up when we speak to HR People leaders about the challenges facing their teams right now. Burnout is described as ‘the great exhaustion’ for a reason . Dozens and dozens of people, painstakingly pushing through their working day, are writing to a Spill therapist about burnout at work each month. Not light-heartedly (joking about it on their eighth Zoom call of the day) but — heartbreakingly — seriously struggling with their mental health.
We’ve put together a list of the most important UK burnout statistics in 2023 covering:
- The causes of workplace burnout
- The symptoms of burnout at work
- The business cost of burnout to employers
- The impact of burnout on UK employees
- Effective measures to tackle burnout in your team
We hope this will help you make informed and data-driven decisions about tackling burnout in your workplace.
Top burnout statistics for 2023
- 43% of people from around 100 countries experienced workplace burnout in 2020. This figure rose from 39% in 2019. 
- Burnout syndrome accounts for 8% of all occupational illness cases (a disease caused by exposure at work to a risk factor). 
- 33% of employees say they are less focused at work as a result of burnout, while 31% report losing interest in work, and 21% report increased procrastination. 
- Toxic workplace behaviours and traits (such as unapproachable leaders, micromanaging and lack of transparency) are a big indicator of burnout in the workplace. 
- At least 79% of UK employees experience burnout, with around 35% reporting extreme or high levels of burnout. [6,7]
- According to a survey we conducted with CharlieHR, an alarming 82% of employees in the tech industry feel close to burnout. 
- 15% of employees experienced burnout as a result of Brexit uncertainties. [8,9]
Get our burnout symptoms test
UK burnout statistics 2023
At least 79% of UK employees experience burnout, with around 35% reporting extreme or high levels of burnout. [6,7]
- Half of UK employees say they’ve experienced at least one characteristic of burnout (feelings of exhaustion, mental distance from their job, or decline in performance at work). 14% say they’ve experienced all 3 characteristics. 
Causes of employee burnout
- The top three causes of employee burnout are reported as increased workload, mental health challenges, and pressure to meet deadlines. 
- 15% of employees experienced burnout as a result of Brexit uncertainties. [8,9]
- 1 in 5 UK employees struggle to manage pressure and stress levels at work (a leading cause of burnout). 
- 46% of people report that working from home contributes to burnout. 
- Over a third of employees say their employers expect them to work beyond reasonable working hours, with younger employees being particularly affected. 
- 27% of 16-24 year olds and 19% of 25-34 year olds work at least 5 hours per week over their contracted hours.
- 80% of employees who work non-desk based roles say that a lack of work-life balance is the biggest contributor to burnout. 73% report either increased customer demands or lack of support or guidance, and 69% report a lack of purpose-driven work. 
- Of employees who use at least some of their annual leave, almost half (47%) find it ‘impossible’ to properly disconnect from work.  A ‘right to disconnect’ policy could help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- 1 in 5 employees feel the need to keep up with what’s happening at work.
- 20% are unable to disconnect because they worry about unfinished work.
- Employees are 70% more likely to burn out when faced with unreasonable time constraints. 
- 81% of employees report that financial stress contributes to burnout. Empowering your team to better understand their relationship with money can help to improve their financial wellbeing and avoid burnout. 
- 77% of people said that feeling isolated could cause burnout. 
- 77% of employees say that fear of redundancy contributes to burnout. Being more intentional about preparing for redundancies with clear and transparent communication could help reduce stress and keep your team more motivated. 
- Although burnout is considered a work hazard, there are many non-work factors that can also contribute to burnout. 79% of employees feel that poor physical health contributes towards burnout, while 83% of people think of bad sleep habits as a factor. 
The impact of burnout on your team
Burnt out employees report high levels of exhaustion :
- 39% of UK professionals report feeling exhausted.
- 62% of employees have reported long working hours, causing tiredness.
- 42% of employees feel emotionally drained from work, with 40% suffering from negative thoughts .
Employees who are burnt out struggle with low morale:
- Unhappy workers are 13% less productive . Keep your employees motivated by making sure you’re delivering against the five pillars of employee wellbeing.
- 58% of professionals worry about disappointing their manager, while 65% don’t want to let their team down.
- 31% of employees feel anxiety about having to meet unrealistic work targets, causing them to feel ineffective at their job .
We often tend to think that burnout is just ‘being tired’ or a ‘state of mind’, but evidence shows that it can have real health-related repercussions. Burnout is connected to many health risks, including type 2 diabetes, chronic fatigue, debilitating headaches, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal issues, and death before the age of 45. 
The business cost of burnout
Sick leave due to poor mental health is the top cause for employees taking time off:
- Employees who struggle with burnout are 63% more likely to take a sick day off. 
- More than 10 million employees take time off because of burnout, with businesses losing more than 80 million hours per year in sick days. 
- Burnout costs UK businesses over £700m every year due to employees calling in sick with signs of stress and exhaustion. 
- More than half of UK employees would leave their jobs for organisations that offer better support for burnout. 
Burnout statistics by industry & profession
- According to a survey we conducted ourselves with CharlieHR, we found that an alarming 82% of employees in the tech industry feel close to burnout. 
- Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are at a huge risk for burnout :
- 47% employees in SMEs say they work 4 or more hours overtime every week, and for over half of these employees, this is unpaid work.
- 22% of employees have less than 30 minutes for lunch, 19% cancelled time with their loved ones, and 19% have missed major family events.
- People belonging to the healthcare sector (82%), the services, tourism, restaurants sector (82%), and construction & real estate sector (77%) are most likely to report burnout. 
- 73% of lawyers feel burned out, with 27% saying they feel burned out on a daily basis. [15, 24]
- Research shows that more than half the doctors in the UK are burnt out because of work-related stress. 
- Key workers reported more signs of burnout, more presenteeism, and were more likely to report that they either left or were planning to leave their job in 2022. 
Burnout statistics by demographic
- Women are more likely than men to suffer from burnout. 
- They were also more likely than men (54% compared to 35%) to call in sick. This could be because of existing male mental health stigma in the workplace, meaning men are less likely to talk about their mental health and seek support. 
- Around 1 in 4 working women feel they can’t manage stress and pressure at work, with only 44% confident that their employee has a burnout plan in place. 
- More than 50% of women in leadership positions feel constantly burned out. 
- For people of colour, code-switching can be a means of professional survival to try and fit into their workplace. It often leads to emotional exhaustion and burnout. 
Give your employees have access to qualified therapists to help them overcome burnout, or anything else affecting their mental health.
US Burnout Statistics 2023
Two-thirds of US employees say they have experienced burnout at some point. 
- 67% of US employees say burnout has become worse over the pandemic. 
- Annual healthcare spend on workplace burnout is anywhere from $125 billion to $190 billion. 
- Employees who are burned out cost $3,400 out of every $10,000 in salary because of both, high turnover and lower productivity. 
- Those who work virtually (38%) are more likely to say that burnout has worsened over the pandemic compared to those who work on-site (28%). This could be attributed to the stresses of remote working. 
- Millennial employees (59%) are the group of people who feel most burned out, followed by Gen Z (58%). 
Statistics on measures that reduce workplace burnout
- Over half of UK employees (52%) say they don’t feel their mental health needs are supported by their employers. 
- 36% of employes say their companies have nothing in place to prevent employee burnout. 
- Only 3 out of 10 managers make an effort to tackle employee burnout. 
So what does work?
- Allowing hybrid working or flexible working hours is one of the most effective ways to help avoid workplace burnout, according to 75% of HR managers. 
- 72% of full-time employees said annual leave is an effective way to deal with burnout. Only a third of employees said that their employer encouraged them to take all their holiday. Take Spill’s holiday pledge to help reduce burnout in your teams. [34,35]
- Employees are 40% less likely to experience burnout if they have a strong ally at work. 
- Employees are 32% less likely to feel burnt out when leadership assists them with managing their workload. 
Some more facts on burnout
- Burnout is a cumulative process that builds over time. The longer it is left untreated, the more severe it becomes. 
- Burnout has been around for way longer than we think. Researchers started focusing on it in the mid-1970s. It was studied for the first time by psychiatrist Herbert Freudenberger and social psychologist Christina Maslach. 
- Research links burnout to the overuse of technology. Being constantly connected compels us to feel like we always have to be ‘available’, leading to blurred work-life boundaries and an increased risk of burnout. 
- It’s not just your waking work hours that are affected by workplace burnout. Insomnia can be one of its serious and debilitating side-effects. 
It's tempting to tell an employee to just take some holiday and hope that works. And proper time-off and rest is needed as burnout treatment — but it only works in the short-tem. Burnout can quickly turn into something more serious that affects someone’s ability to function at home or at work, which requires professional mental health support. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is proven to be an effective treatment for people who are experiencing burnout, helping to unpick the root causes and build strategies to deal with triggers as they come up in future.
Give your team access to Spill therapy sessions with burnout specialists to speed up their recovery, and use our weekly mental health check-ins feature to catch signs of employee burnout at an early stage, before they get worse.
More burnout resources
For a closer look at how to spot and prevent employee burnout, check out our burnout guides and resources for employers 👇
Get our burnout symptoms test
Use Spill's spot-and-treat system to proactively measure your team's mood and act on early signs of burnout.