The industries in the UK most at risk of burnout during lockdown

LaToya Harding
·Contributor
·3 min read
Tired frustrated exhausted businessman working from home online sitting at home office with laptop during quarantine and self isolation period at pandemic. Crisis management. Despair of market falling down.
Burnout is defined as a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion when an individual physically cannot do their job anymore. It is a manifestation of stress. Photo: Getty

As the UK goes through its third nationwide lockdown, intense work pressures, long hours or heavy workloads could lead to employees suffering from burnout.

Burnout is defined as a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion when an individual physically cannot do their job anymore. It is a manifestation of stress.

According to data from residential rehab centre Delamere Health, the construction industry was the sector most at risk of people suffering from burnout.

The research analysed data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIDP) health and wellbeing index, and scientific reports.

Each component was ranked based on normalisation ranking with a maximum score of 4 or 5 to find the worst industries. These ranked components included average hours worked, mortality rank, amount of overtime, amount of unpaid overtime and Google searches for work-related terms.

The CIPD health and wellbeing index score, and CIPD work-life balance were also components used.

Average hours worked per employee in the construction industry was 47.33, some 26.6% above the latest reported average for British full-time workers by the ONS. The hours were the second highest across all industries within Britain.

READ MORE: Is the pressure to 'love your job' causing the burnout epidemic?

Manufacturing followed closely behind, with wholesale, retail and auto repair in third place. Making up the top five was administrative and support services, and transport and storage.

Agricultural workers were most affected by the COVID-19 health crisis with an 8.1% increase in working hours while the hospitality industry saw a 25.8% reduction in working hours due to lockdowns and curfews set in place to curb the spread of the virus.

The tech industry had the lowest chance of burnout, with information and communication ranking last on the list due to its shorter working hours, low mortality rates and good work-life balance.

On a regional level, London was named the hardest working area, followed by Yorkshire and the East Midlands, while East Anglia had the best work-life balance. Chart: Totallymoney.com, Google Trends
On a regional level, London was named the hardest working area, followed by Yorkshire and the East Midlands, while East Anglia had the best work-life balance. Chart: Totallymoney.com, Google Trends

On a regional level, London was named the hardest working area, followed by Yorkshire and the East Midlands, while East Anglia had the best work-life balance.

Professor Cary Cooper, advisory board member at Delamere Health, said: “Stress generally is down to the individual recognising that they are working too hard or long, but it's a two-way street.

“The individual needs to manage their priorities and manage their health and wellbeing. It’s also down to the employer to set manageable workloads, the boss should be contacting you as an individual if they notice overworking”.

Google Trends showed an 117% increase in the number of searches for ‘signs of burnout’.

In a recent Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time US employees, 28% of millennials claimed feeling frequent or constant burnout at work, compared with 21% of workers from older generations. An additional 45% of Millennial workers say they sometimes feel burned out.

It has become such a problem among workers that the World Health Organisation recently added burnout to its International Classification of Diseases — IDC-11 — describing it as “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed…”

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