Employee Burnout and Employer Benefits

employee burnout

Mental health issues skyrocketed during the pandemic. Meanwhile, about 10% of the American workforce, or 16 million people, have more than one job. With those facts in mind, it’s unsurprising that employee burnout is a continuing problem. The good news is that employer-sponsored benefits can help mitigate burnout.

What is burnout?

As defined by the World Health Organization, “Burnout is a syndrome … resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

Sufferers of burnout can feel energy depletion or exhaustion, distance from co-workers (if not full-on negativity or cynicism), and reduced professional efficacy. They may experience difficulty sleeping and various adverse health effects. Together, these issues may lead to higher turnover, increased usage of sick leave, and lower productivity.

Does burnout affect remote employees, too?

Employees experience many of the same pressures, whether working on-site, remotely, or in combination. Remote workers also experience issues unique to their working arrangements, such as blurred lines between home and work. Many feel like they are always at work.  Authorities such as the Mayo Clinic suggest the following ways to alleviate work-from-home stress:

  • Set up a dedicated space only used for work
  • Create a routine (e.g., dress in a whole work outfit each morning, not a work shirt over pajama bottoms)
  • Prioritize workloads
  • Take natural breaks, not just breaks to perform household chores
  • Create a schedule for the start and end times of each day
  • Get some exercise (if you are not working out regularly, try taking a walk during your lunch break)
  • Establish an effective sleep routine

But sometimes, more help is necessary. That’s where employers and employer-sponsored benefits can play a huge role.

How can employers use benefits to help?

To help alleviate the incidence of employee burnout, employers need to ensure the inclusion of mental health benefits in traditional health insurance and provide resources for needs that go beyond those limits. For example:

  • Sponsoring Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) or Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can help employees afford needed psychological care that goes above what they can access through their health insurance or company-provided Employee Assistance Plans.
  • Offering Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSAs) can help employees access non-traditional medical care and other products, services, and activities that address their mental, emotional, financial, and physical health needs.

But the benefits are only as good as their utilization rate. Reach out to employees who may need help to encourage their use of available resources. And while real or perceived stigma may still prevent some employees from disclosing or pursuing help for their struggles, that’s all the more reason to share regular updates and reminders about available benefits.

To learn more about providing effective and engaging education, check out our blog entitled “Help Employees Understand Their Benefits.”

For 40 years, DataPath has been a pivotal force in the employee benefits, financial services, and insurance industries. The company’s flagship DataPath Summit platform offers an integrated solution for managing CDH, HSA, Well-Being, COBRA, and Billing. Through its partnership with Accelergent Growth Solutions, DataPath also offers expert BPO services, automation, outsourced customer service, and award-winning marketing services.

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