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Businesses boom despite spike in employee burnout

After 16 months of on-off restrictions on daily life, a survey by BDO has now found that firms are their most optimistic since 2005 in June. Yet despite businesses looking forward to the lifting of restrictions on 19 July, a study by Aviva has found that 47% of employees are now less career-focused because of the pandemic – this is due to the boundary between work and home becoming “increasingly blurred” and work-related burnout. With COVID-19 exacerbating these issues for many employees, data by Future Strategy Club now also unveils that 57% of Brits do not want to return to their previous 9-5 construct post-pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, many employees have been overworked, consistently sleep-deprived and hyper-stressed – with data by Capterra revealing that 71% of employees have experienced burnout, and 75% have suffered from more than one burnout symptom.

The extreme consequences of overworking employees are evident. As Debbie Bullock, wellbeing lead at Aviva, told the BBC’s Today programme – “If you don’t make time for wellness you are going to have to potentially make time for illness.”.

Building a culture of continuous improvement is difficult to do in an ever-changing workplace. Now, private sector leaders can guide and assist businesses struggling to do just this. Support from Future Strategy Club’s experts such as Gareth Tennant, the former Head of Intelligence at the Royal Marines, Hector Arthur, former Digital Director of The Times or Karl Weaver, former CEO of the Data Practice at Publicis, can now be affordably accessed by businesses and will bring fundamental changes to the way they operate, from improving workplace culture and enacting change, to bringing new styles of leadership and keeping struggling companies afloat.

Justin Small, CEO of Future Strategy Club, discusses cultivating a culture of innovation and autonomy post-pandemic:

“Burnout and lack of career focus is not a result of an inability to cope within the workplace—it’s about poor workplace culture. With 71% of employees having now experienced burnout, firms must look to cultivate a culture of innovation and autonomy. Short-term solutions and office perks are not simply enough to stop staff from burning out, with the benefit of these perks often short-lived. What really matters in a firm is cultivating a culture of innovation and autonomy – this is the key to preserving employees well-being post-pandemic and retaining your best talent.

Yet how should firms plan ahead in a continuously disrupted world? How can they be certain the decisions they are making now will be right in the next few months, let alone the next few years? Firms right now cannot predict the future, but they can look forwards and shape it. Now, businesses can source creative freelancers who are unphased by the acute challenges in how we are doing business today. This will not only enrich a team and drive fresh results, but help businesses recalibrate and survive the effects of the Covid pandemic.