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Combatting Employee Burnout & Prioritizing Mental Health in the Workplace

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! In honor of this month-long observance dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of mental health, we are exploring a common issue across workplaces today: employee burnout – and how to combat it.

What is Employee Burnout?

In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially recognized burnout in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).The WHO clearly stated that it is not classified as a medical condition, but rather as an occupational phenomenon.

While employee burnout is not formally considered a mental illness, it is widely considered a health concern as it may increase the risk of more serious illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders or chronic fatigue syndrome.

According to the WHO, employee burnout signs may include feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job, and/or a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.

Employee burnout has many causes and can happen to employees regardless of age or experience level. According to Indeed, common reasons for this phenomenon include overworking, unrealistic expectations or goals, lack of clarity or communication regarding role responsibilities, and/or unfair or biased treatment while at work.

COVID-19 Impact on Employee Burnout

From early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, heightened uncertainty and stress were evident, and over the last year, the significant effect of the pandemic is widely recognized. Many experts now believe the mental health repercussions of the pandemic are expected to remain a concern for employees across the globe for the foreseeable future.

According to a survey conducted by Indeed in March 2021, employee burnout has only gotten worse since the start of the pandemic: more than half (52%) of respondents are feeling burned out, and

more than two-thirds (67%) believe the feeling has worsened over the course of the pandemic. 

The Bonadio Group- Cheryl Prout- Accounting Careers

Prioritizing Mental Health at The Bonadio Group

At TBG, we value mental health and prioritize work-life balance. Our firm recognizes how demanding the public accounting industry can be, so we provide a variety of benefits intended to encourage mental health, balance, and relaxation.

  • Unlimited Paid Time Off (PTO)
    • Although we have many attractive benefits at the firm, our Unlimited Paid Time Off (PTO) policy has risen to the top in popularity. Adopting this methodology has given our people the flexibility to maintain a healthy work-life balance, with the peace of mind of not having to prioritize or keep track of PTO hours. It has empowered our people to manage their schedules as the professionals they are. While many companies have started implementing this policy, our firm truly abides by it and enables our people to take full advantage.
  • Half-Day Summer Fridays
    • Over a decade ago, we implemented half-day Summer Fridays to support and encourage well-deserved time off. Bonadio offices close at Noon each Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which allows our people to enjoy a jumpstart to the weekend and time to unwind. The accounting profession can be demanding and it's our number one priority to recognize and reward our people with benefits that acknowledge their lives outside of the workplace.
  • Flexible Work Model
    • Our Flexible Work Model is designed to encourage and support flexibility and work-life balance for our People because we know how important it is to be able to spend time focusing on the things you love. While we still strongly believe that face-to-face interactions are critical to foster deep colleague and client relationships, we aim to empower our People to make their own decisions about how and where they work.
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
    • We also offer a comprehensive Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that is available to our employees and members of their households, at no cost. Support and resources can assist with caregiver or personal stress, child or elder care solutions, anxiety, and more. All services are private and confidential.
  • “Mental Health Mondays”
    • We know how demanding the traditional busy season can be for our People, which is why we introduced a segment on our intranet called “Mental Health Mondays.” Each Monday throughout “busy season,” the Wellness Committee shared topics and resources dedicated to mental health. Some of the topics included the power of positivity, self-care tips at your desk, the benefits of meditation, and more!
  • Wellbeats
    • As a firm, we subscribe to Wellbeats, which is a virtual fitness, mindfulness, and nutrition resource center. Our employees have unlimited access to various resources such as yoga and meditation classes.

Mental health is so important, both in and out of the workplace. Your employer should make it a priority and establish programs that help support you. If you’re interested learning more about our overarching employee experience at TBG, check out our Careers page, or reach out today to learn more!

This material has been prepared for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. Should you require any such advice, please contact us directly. The information contained herein does not create, and your review or use of the information does not constitute, an accountant-client relationship.