A new type of burnout is emerging in 2022 – one that is infused by cognitive exhaustion, moral injury, and eco anxiety. The emotional and psychological impact of having an awareness of, witnessing or engaging with climate and ecological breakdown, eco anxiety is particularly prevalent among young people.
And our latest, ground-breaking research with Imperial College London and Sheffield University demonstrates that those experiencing eco-anxiety could become less productive and eventually burnt out.
- In a 2022 BUPA survey, 43% of respondents said that employer inaction on climate change negatively impacted their mental wellbeing.
- 59% of young people globally are very or extremely worried, and more than half report feeling sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty with regards to the climate crisis
We need to fix our broken workplaces so that employees have the energy to look after our planet and create a better world for future generations. People in their power contribute to a better community, as better parents, as better friends, and for a better environment. Burnt out people burn out the planet too. We need to get to the root cause of toxicity in the workplace, and we need to do this scientifically, identifying and tackling moral injury, eco anxiety and burnout head on.
With Cop27 – the UN’s international climate change conference – around the corner, here are 3 things organisations can do right now to help employees cope, prevent burnout, reduce eco anxiety and enhance wellbeing.
A brighter future
- Take responsibility as an organisation for climate action
Set and deliver on ambitious targets for environmental and sustainability goals. Those goals could be lowering energy usage and emissions, or “greening” the workplace with strategies such as living walls, plants on desks, and access to green spaces.
- Foster hope
There are many climate disaster stories, but it is important to showcase the positive stories and change that is happening as well. Meaning-focussed coping is a mechanism for climate coping that includes putting trust in powerful societal actors, and aligning action with values.
- Regularly measure and assess the risk of burnout and eco anxiety
Softer Success® provides a business wellbeing assessment such as ‘A Walk Through The Forest’ a 90-second diagnostic test which scientifically identifies and mitigates the risks of burnout and eco anxiety in your organisation.