Burnout needs talking about

New research shows that more than half of all professionals feel worn out by their work; More than two-thirds of working parents feel the same, rising to 70% of senior managers;

Talking Talent, the innovative coaching and consulting company, has today published new research that shows how pressures and expectations at work are taking their toll on employees and increasing their risk of burning out.

The new research shows that:

  • More than half (57%) of all professionals feel worn out by the type of work and environment where they work;
  • This number rises to over two-thirds (67%) for working parents;
  • And rises further to 70% of senior managers who feel the same way;
  • 58% of senior managers report that they often lose focus at work;
  • More than half (57%) of graduates also feel worn out by work;
  • Two-thirds of graduates (66%) feel they give a lot but get little in return at work;
  • And three-quarters (75%) of professionals aged 25-34 already feel worn out by work;

Talking Talent’s new research shows how the threat of burnout is real and immediate. It is not reserved for middle age or later life. In fact, last year in the UK, younger workers took more days off work due to stress than older workers (roughly 65% of 16-24 young workers compared to only 24% of older workers).

Nearly 50% of all workers do NOT feel they get enough support from employers. The research makes a strong case for employers to take action.

Talking Talent believes there are opportunities for employers to make it easier for their employees to learn to manage their own wellbeing better. But organisations also need to step up to a crucial cultural challenge. How can they give their people confidence that it is not a sign of weakness to start talking about burnout?

Why should employers take on these difficult questions? The research shows that almost a half (49%) of workers often lose focus at work.

And it supports research by the Institute for Public Policy Research which recently estimated that 460,000 people transition from work to sickness and disability benefits a year, costing employers £9bn a year.

So, the advantages to employers of addressing the issue are clear.

Talking Talent Coach Director, Rob Bravo said: “Organisations need to take action to support the wellbeing of their people. This research shows how the risk of burnout is real. The challenge of helping employees understand better how to manage their own wellbeing is part of protecting an organisation’s greatest asset – its people. If left unexamined, wellbeing issues will reverse positive trends in diversity and inclusion aimed at improving organisational performance.

Talking Talent’s research shows three key pressure points for organisations to look at:

1. Wearing down working parents

The research found that over two-thirds (67%) of working parents feel worn out by work and the environment in which they work in. That’s 10% higher than for all employees.

And the gap is wider for men at work. 72% of working dads claim to be physically and emotionally worn out by their work and working environment, compared to 51% for working men who do not have children. 

41% of working parents don’t have enough energy for their family, friends and other activities after work. And 57% believe they are not being good enough parents or partners.

2. Senior managers are the ‘squeezed middle’ at work

Some 70% of senior managers feel worn out by the type of work they do and the environment in which they work. 57% of all workers feel that way.

60% of senior managers say they drag themselves to work and have trouble getting started once they arrive – 20% higher than for all workers. And 43% of senior managers do not think clearly at work, compared with 31% of all workers.

57% of senior managers say the support they get from their employees is not enough, whereas only 48% of all workers have this concern. And one of the key things senior managers want from their employer is increased parental leave.  They want this significantly more than other employees, (34% asked for that compared with 17% of workers in total).

And 62% of senior managers feel they are not being a good enough parent / partner / person outside of work. For workers overall, this number falls considerably to 43%.

Talking Talent’s research shows how burnout is a risk for working parents, and for senior managers. Senior managers who are also working parents may need greater support still from their employers.

3. Graduates need permission to speak out

The research also shows that burnout is not reserved for middle age or later life. Almost 3 in 5 (57%) graduate workers feel worn out by the type of work and the environment in which they work in.

And they are less likely to feel comfortable reaching out to their employer when experiencing burnout (42% said they wouldn’t comfortable with this, compared with 33% for all employees).

Just as with working parents and senior managers, this is a crucial cultural challenge for employers to address. How can they evolve their working culture to give their people confidence that it is not a sign of weakness to start talking about the risk of burnout? And do so early enough to prevent it?





About Talking Talent (www.talking-talent.com)

Talking Talent is the leading provider of consultancy and coaching for women and working parents in the UK and is at the forefront of developing the female talent pipeline across the globe. Through listening to its coachees’ personal challenges, hopes, fears and ambitions, Talking Talent has developed bespoke, innovative and impactful coaching programmes. Talking Talent’s own flexible approach to working has attracted the very best in coaching talent and the company now employs over 50 of the most experienced coaches in the world, all with significant commercial backgrounds. 

Talking Talent’s Top Ten achievements over the last decade:

  1. 15,000+ women coached
  2. Supported 4,000+ managers
  3. More than 7coaches worldwide
  4. 100+ clients globally
  5. 11 industry research studies and insight guides published
  6. 80% of Lloyds Banking Group coachees promoted or given enhanced roles
  7. 2,500 coaching sessions held over the last year alone
  8. £17 million of savings in 18 months (EY)
  9. 13%  increase in retention across maternity period for Citi employees
  10. 18 of The Times top 50 Employers for Women are TT clients


For more information, photography or to organise an interview with a member of the Talking Talent team, please contact:


Laura Lally


T: 01491 821850


Charlotte Knight


M: 07769 314 371