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SME employees suffering increased burnout

Iain McMillan

Britain’s small and medium sized firms make up 99.9 percent of the UK’s private sector businesses, employ nearly three-fifths of its workforce and account for 48 percent of the turnover. Comment from Iain McMillan, SME Director at AXA PPP.

But full-on pursuit of commercial success may be putting owners and employees of these businesses at increased risk of ill health and burnout. Described as a type of stress, office burnout can manifest itself as a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.

Unfortunately, long working hours are often embedded into SME culture. According to research by AXA PPP healthcare; 47 percent of employees in SMEs across the UK said they regularly work four or more hours of overtime per week; 29 percent if these put in seven or more hours; For half (52 percent), the extra hours are unpaid

In addition, 21 percent of employees take fewer than 30 minutes for lunch; 27 percent have cancelled family time and 19 percent have missed a child’s event such as a school play and for parents with younger children due to working over and above their contracted hours. Over half (54 percent) of employees have continued to work after putting children to bed

“Small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of the economy – driving innovation, enterprise and growth,” Iain McMillan, SME Director at AXA PPP healthcare at AXA PPP healthcare. “Their commitment is commendable yet our study shows that owners and bosses may be putting themselves and their employees at increased risk of burnout and ill health through protracted overwork.”

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