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Worker burnout costs Germany 9 billion euros every year

Staff writer |
A substantial portion of the German workforce is burned out or nearing it, and this is costing Germany billions of euros in lost productivity each year.

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According to a recent Gallup survey, among German workers:

- 31% felt stressed yesterday
- 24% felt tired or burned out yesterday
- 22% reported that they have behaved poorly with their family or friends on three or more days in the past 30 days due to stress
- 12% reported that they have had mental or emotional distress such as burnout, depression or anxiety disorders in the last 12 months

These results suggest that more than 4.1 million German workers have experienced mental or emotional distress.

Workers who answered "yes" to the question, "In the past 12 months, have you had mental illness such as burnout, depression or anxiety disorders?" missed 15.8 days of work per year due to illness, while workers who responded "no" missed 7.1 days, according to self-reported data.

Overall, workers in Germany who report mental or emotional distress miss 35.4 million more days of work each year than their counterparts who have not been mentally or emotionally distressed.

Gallup estimates that every workday lost to illness, on average, costs a German company 254.40 euros - resulting in an estimated cost of more than 9 billion euros in lost productivity annually to German employers.

It's in a company's best interest to keep its employees healthy, and employee well-being is a serious business issue.

Employees who say that their employer shows interest in their overall well-being feel less stressed and feel less tired or burned out; they report less trouble in their family and social lives; and they are less likely to report mental or emotional distress such as burnout, depression or anxiety disorders.

But only 29% of German workers strongly agree with the statement, "My company cares about my overall well-being." The result has not changed in recent years; in 2012, the same percentage strongly agreed that their company cared.


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