Skip to content

The Burnout Epidemic: Why Employee Well-being Should Be Every Company’s Top Priority

There’s a burnout wave sweeping through offices worldwide, and even though more people are talking about it, most organizations still aren’t making employee well-being a top priority, says a recent survey.

Eighty percent of employees are facing the threat of burnout this year. Among them, 43% point to financial pressure, 40% to exhaustion, and 37% to an overwhelming workload as key contributors according to the 2024 Global Talent Trends report from Mercer, an HR consulting firm.

However, there appears to be a gap between recognizing the harmful impacts of burnout — such as decreased productivity and engagement — and how seriously leaders perceive it as a problem within their companies.



The survey reveals that fewer than half of employers prioritize well-being when designing work policies. Additionally, less than a third of employers acknowledge that neglecting to address employee burnout could pose significant risks to their organizations this year.

“We are heading in the wrong direction, especially in the U.S.,” Kate Bravery, Knowledge and Insights global leader for Mercer, told Fortune. What we’re doing today is not having a material impact on physical or mental health. And that’s really worrying.”

To combat the burnout epidemic and foster healthier work environments, companies must embrace a multifaceted approach:


  1. Be Predictive: Employ data-driven frameworks capable of identifying burnout red flags before they escalate into full-blown crises. By leveraging employee data, organizations can proactively intervene to support at-risk individuals, thereby mitigating the adverse effects of burnout on both individuals and the business as a whole.


  1. Fix Cultures of Overwork: Cultivate a culture that values work-life balance by implementing measures to monitor workloads and scheduling effectively. Mandating vacation time, setting clear boundaries on remote work, and encouraging employees to disconnect outside of working hours are crucial steps in preventing burnout and promoting employee well-being.


  1. Destigmatize Mental Health: Foster an environment where discussions around mental health are encouraged and supported. By normalizing conversations about mental well-being, companies can help remove the stigma associated with seeking support and accessing mental health resources, thereby empowering employees to prioritize their mental health without fear of judgment or reprisal.


  1. Implement Benefits that Reduce Work-life Friction: Introduce benefits and policies to reduce friction between work and personal life. This could include flexible working arrangements, child care support, wellness programs, and access to resources such as counseling services or mindfulness workshops. By investing in initiatives that support employees’ holistic well-being, companies demonstrate a genuine commitment to their workforce’s long-term health and happiness.


The burnout epidemic represents a critical challenge that demands immediate attention from organizations worldwide. By prioritizing employee well-being and implementing proactive measures to address burnout, companies can safeguard the health and happiness of their workforce as well as foster a culture of resilience, productivity and innovation. It’s time for employers to recognize that the well-being of their employees is both a moral and strategic imperative essential for long-term success in today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape.