Some businesses bet tackling burnout will boost bottom lines

As mental health problems continue to impact workers, some companies have started to take more proactive postures to prevent employee burnout.


October 14, 2019

Feeling burnt out? You’re not alone: According to a recent study, half of millennials and 75% of Gen Zers have left a job for mental health reasons. Hustle culture — both the ways we work and the way we let work define us — is part of the problem. 

What’s work got to do with it?

Increased workloads, limited staff and resources, and crazy-long hours are common contributors to the problem. Meanwhile, living expenses are out of control for many younger workers, and that student loan debt ain’t goin’ nowhere.

On top of that, there’s a deeply ingrained notion that work shouldn’t just bring in money; it should also provide a sense of identity. The feeling is so pervasive, some go so far as to call “workism” the new religion.

Naturally, there are economic consequences. The US spends $200B annually treating depression, stress, and anxiety. For employers, sick days and lost productivity cost big money. 

But some companies are trying to change that

Cisco implemented a number of changes aimed at encouraging employees to seek better mental health. The company claims 7% of its US workforce is accessing some form of mental health or substance abuse treatment. 

Other companies are instituting pro-mental health campaigns with some reporting significant savings on healthcare costs… and improved consumer perception.

Expect the trend to continue. Some researchers have gone so far as to call mental health “the next frontier of diversity and inclusion.”

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