As the trying months of the global pandemic have wreaked havoc in the personal and professional lives of many, a topic that has become a common talking point among business leaders is employee burnout.

Even here, on MaltaCEOs, we’ve had psychotherapist Emma Hogg give her advice for avoiding burnout while working from home; counsellor and psychotherapist Matthew Bartolo advocate for cutting employees slack during this hard time; and entrepreneur, yoga and meditation teacher Yasmin de Giorgio explore how burnout can sabotage productivity in Malta’s businesses.

This week, news that dating app Bumble – which employs around 700 workers – has given employees the week off ‘to recover from burnout’ made the headlines. Yet despite CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd receiving praise for the initiative, it also raises questions as to whether it is a case of ‘too little too late’, drawing criticism for treating the very real issue of burnout as something that can easily be fixed with a short break.

Voicing her criticism on social media, iGaming and Fintech executive, board member and advisor Carla Maree Vella argues, “if you have to give your employees leave to recover from burnout then something is wrong with your company culture and leadership.”

Lamenting that giving employees a week to recover from burnout is undermining the issue, stating that “anyone who has suffered from burnout knows that it takes a lot longer than one week to recover”, Ms Vella emphasises the importance of a long-term approach in helping workers to achieve an appropriate work-life balance, in order to avoid burning out.

“Work life balance is a real thing,” she says, affirming that, “encouraging leave, noticing when your team are online at all hours or simply flagging employees who are taking too much on themselves is your duty as a manager.”

Are you concerned that you may not be doing enough to help avoid burnout among your employees? Here are some management tips for leading your team through stressful times.

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