CHICAGO – The United States could benefit from implementing burnout leave policies similar to those in Germany, according to experts in the field. Burnout, a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress, has become increasingly prevalent in the US workforce.
In Germany, burnout is recognized as a legitimate medical condition and employees are entitled to take time off work to recover. Known as “burnout leave,” this time off is separate from sick leave and can last for several months.
According to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workplace stress is a leading cause of burnout in the US. The study found that over half of US workers reported feeling overwhelmed or burned out at some point during their workday.
In addition to its impact on individual employees, burnout can have serious consequences for businesses. Burnout can lead to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates.
Some US companies have started implementing their own burnout prevention policies, such as encouraging employees to take breaks and providing mental health resources. However, experts say that widespread adoption of burnout leave policies could have a significant positive impact on both employees and employers.
While burnout leave policies may seem costly for businesses, the long-term benefits of preventing burnout are substantial. A study by the World Health Organization found that for every $1 invested in mental health treatment for employees, there was a return of $4 in improved health and productivity.
As the US continues to grapple with the effects of workplace burnout, advocates for burnout leave policies hope that the adoption of similar policies to those in Germany will become more common. The benefits of preventing burnout are clear, and it’s time for the US to take action.