Could Tracking Employee Burnout Help Establish Better Work-Life Balance? KPMG Thinks So!

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Photo Credits - Rowan Heuvel via Unsplash

The challenge of employee burnout casts a pervasive shadow on staff wellbeing and workplace mental health. Recognising the detrimental impact of staff burnout on employees and organisations, global professional services firm KPMG is exploring innovative ways to address this issue. 

This article delves into the significance of tracking employee burnout, why employers must intensify efforts to alleviate burnout, and how KPMG’s initiatives align with the broader goal of promoting work-life balance.

Understanding Employee Burnout

Employee burnout is not merely a buzzword; it’s a pressing issue affecting the emotional, physical, and mental health of individuals subjected to prolonged stress and demanding work conditions. This chronic condition manifests through various symptoms, including exhaustion, reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, and even physical ailments like headaches and sleep disturbances. According to a Gallup survey in 2021, 76% of employees reported experiencing burnout at least sometimes, with 28% feeling burned out “very often” or “always.”

The signs of burnout at work are not always apparent. This makes it crucial for employers to be vigilant. Fatigue, frequent headaches, sleep disturbances, and increased illness are common physical indicators. However, spotting these signs without tracking employee burnout becomes challenging.

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Employers’ Responsibility: Reducing Occupational Burnout

Employers hold a significant responsibility in curbing the rising tide of workplace burnout. Recognising the signs and understanding the factors contributing to burnout are the first steps in this crucial journey. Unreasonable work demands, lack of control, toxic work environments, and insufficient support from management or colleagues are key contributors to burnout.

The consequences of neglecting employee burnout and mental health problems are substantial. Not only does it affect staff well-being, but it also has severe economic repercussions. The American Institute of Stress estimated that workplace stress costs U.S. employers around $300 billion annually in lost productivity, absenteeism, and healthcare expenses.

KPMG’s Vision: Tracking Burnout for a Better Work-Life Balance

In response to the escalating issue of employee burnout, KPMG is taking a proactive stance. The company is exploring the use of employee monitoring software to track behavioural trends and identify potential signs of burnout. This technological solution promises not only to detect burnout but also to establish a foundation for better work-life balance.

Why Employee Monitoring Software?

  • Identifying Areas of High Workload:
    • This software helps KPMG pinpoint areas where employees might be grappling with excessive workloads.
    • By analysing productivity data, KPMG can redistribute tasks or allocate additional resources where necessary, reducing stress levels.
  • Encouraging Breaks and Self-Care:
    • Monitoring work hours allows KPMG to encourage breaks during the workday.
    • It enables the promotion of self-care activities, helping employees alleviate stress and maintain mental well-being.
  • Providing Feedback and Coaching:
    • Employee monitoring software offers valuable data on performance metrics, allowing KPMG to provide targeted feedback.
    • This coaching helps employees enhance their performance, creating a positive cycle that can prevent burnout.
  • Supporting Work-Life Balance:
    • By identifying work patterns affecting work-life balance, KPMG can implement strategies to promote a healthier equilibrium.
    • Ethical use of monitoring software is emphasised, ensuring employee privacy is respected.

Beyond Monitoring: Employee Burnout Solutions

While KPMG’s adoption of employee monitoring software is a commendable step, employers should consider a holistic approach to tackle burnout comprehensively.

  • Setting Clear Expectations and Goals:
    • Establishing clear expectations and goals through monitoring software helps employees understand their roles and responsibilities.
    • This clarity fosters ownership, motivation, and accountability, preventing burnout.
  • Encouraging Collaboration and Team Building:
    • Collaborative efforts and team-building activities are effective stress-busters.
    • These activities foster camaraderie, reduce stress levels, and enhance overall morale and productivity.
  • Offering Flexible Working Arrangements:
    • Embracing flexibility in work hours and remote options is a key strategy to combat burnout.
    • Allowing employees to structure their work around personal productivity peaks contributes to a healthier work-life balance.

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The Bigger Picture: Employee Wellbeing and Economic Impact

The importance of reducing employee burnout extends beyond the individual level. Employers who prioritise staff wellbeing foster a positive work culture, reducing turnover rates and cultivating a loyal and motivated workforce. This, in turn, positively impacts overall job satisfaction, performance, and company reputation.

Addressing workplace burnout is not just a moral imperative; it’s an economic necessity. The costs associated with burnout, including lost productivity and healthcare expenses, underscore the urgency for employers to take proactive measures. KPMG’s initiative to track employee burnout is a step in the right direction, aligning with the broader goal of establishing a healthier work-life balance for employees.

The prevalence of employee burnout demands immediate attention from employers worldwide. Recognising the signs, understanding the contributing factors, and adopting proactive measures are crucial in mitigating this pervasive issue. KPMG’s exploration of employee monitoring software is indicative of the innovative solutions required to tackle burnout comprehensively. As the corporate landscape evolves, the integration of technological tools and holistic strategies will play a pivotal role in fostering better work-life balance and employee mental health. This will ensure the mental well-being of employees and the sustained success of organisations.

Redmans Solicitors and their team of expert employment lawyers can offer advice and guidance on employment law matters. Contact their employment law specialists today!

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