Research Outline

Burnout - Economic Impact


To understand the economic impact of burnout by identifying the cost it has for employers, insurance companies, individuals, and governments to inform a mental wellness value proposition for these players.

Early Findings

General Considerations

  • According to the World Health Organization, burnout is the result of "chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed". Numerous studies refer to stress when talking about burnout, which is why information about the costs of chronic stress has also been included.
  • Information about the costs of burnout often refers to "healthcare systems", which can include both governments and insurance companies. Therefore, this information is grouped together.


  • According to research performed by Gallup, 76% of employees report feeling burned out sometimes, while 28% feel burned out often or almost all the time.
  • This is an alarming number, especially considering the implications. According to the same survey, 63% of employees who feel burned out often are more prone to ask for sick days, and they are 2.6 times more likely to be looking for another job.
  • A Deloitte survey revealed that 91% of employees that feel burnout consider this negatively impacts the quality of their work.
  • Also, a Forbes article revealed that approximately 34% of the salary of an employee feeling burnout is lost due to this.
  • According to a study performed in the United Kingdom, workplace stress led to 12.5 million workdays lost. The lost output for employers is estimated within a range of $45.4 to $58.4 billion annually (£33.4 to £43 billion).

Governments and Healthcare Insurance Companies

  • According to research performed at Stanford, workplace stress leads to healthcare expenses in the United States that reached $190 billion annually. This accounts for 8% of healthcare national outlays.
  • In addition, depression and anxiety have been closely associated with burnout, and the World Health Organization estimates that it translates into costs to the global economy that reach $1 trillion .
  • The costs associated with turnover and lower productivity seen in burnout result in a loss of $322 billion annually according to the World Economic Forum.
  • In the United Kingdom, it has been estimated that high levels of stress have reached a cost of $96.7 million (£71.1 million) that comes directly from the money of taxpayers.
  • It also leads to a loss in tax revenue estimated at $14.6 to $19.5 billion a year (£10.8 to £14.4 billion).
  • Interestingly, there are specific populations who are more likely to suffer from burnout. It has been estimated that physician burnout has a cost of $4.6 billion annually to the healthcare industry in the United States.


  • According to a Deloitte survey, 83% of employees who report feeling burnout consider this has an impact on their personal relationships.
  • Approximately 50% of Millennials surveyed by Deloitte state that they have left a job due to feeling burnout.

Summary of Findings

  • We have used this initial hour of research to assess the availability of the information and provide our initial findings. We were able to provide information about burnout financial costs worldwide, to employers, and to specific governments and healthcare systems.
  • The specific costs of burnout in the case of insurance companies specifically was not found during this initial research. However, "healthcare systems" are mentioned by different reports and in most cases, these costs refer to expenses made by both insurance companies and the government.
  • While we had time to assess the availability of the information for the US, the UK, Denmark, and EU territories, we did not have time to provide full information for each of these regions or countries. It is to be noted that economic information is not available for all the aforementioned countries; however, there is information regarding the social impact of burnout as well as the prevalence of this syndrome in these countries. These details could be provided with further research.
  • In addition, little information was found regarding the cost of burnout for individuals in economic terms. That said, there is additional information about the cost of this syndrome at an interpersonal and emotional level, which could be provided with further hours of research.