Burnout Signs You Should Not Ignore

Nowadays, it is common for workers to feel stressed or even overwhelmed towards their job. Some reach a burnout point. The World Health Organisation has defined burnout as: “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,” 

Burnout has three main evidence: alienation towards work, exhaustion, and reduced work performance. It is not just stress, but it can be a sign of it. According to a study from the University of California, stress may have a positive impact in terms of work stimulation and motivation, but a burnout has no benefits.

Burnout disorder can be difficult to diagnose. Its symptoms are similar to those of other mental illnesses. There are physical signs, for example, stomach issues or headaches. Also, emotional symptoms, just like exhaustion or lack of energy are common. Depression can be a burnout consequence but can also be behind it. People start seeing work as exhausting and disappointing, which leads to a decrease in professional efficacy.  Heavy workload, little control over job decisions or no social interactions are factors that may play a part in burnout.

A recent Gallup survey from 2018 showed that 23% of employees were “feeling burnt out at work very often or always”. Receiving professional help and support at work is fundamental to tackle this issue.

Managers, leaders and the workforce need to be aware of burnout situations and have a plan to address them. Companies need to create healthy work environments that help avoid this condition. To do this, it is essential to fairly treat the workforce. Also, giving feedback and support is crucial to prevent stress, to make sure workers understand their tasks and employer’s expectations. Changing the position/project, offering time off from work, vacations and flexible hours are ways to help people overcome this issue. Organisations should also promote employees’ hobbies in order to let them rest and disconnect

Stressful jobs are not synonyms of burnout disorders, but only if workers know how to handle stress. A healthy work-life balance, exercising, and getting enough sleep are examples of strategies that may help.

We should not forget that work performance and success depend on working hard as much as they depend on health conditions and wellbeing. So, prioritising our health and our needs will only have a positive impact on our lives.

Studies from the University of Leuven, in Belgium and the Utrecht University, in The Netherlands, showed that burnout levels are more prevalent in non-EU-countriesLuxembourg and France are the western European countries with a higher risk of burnout.

References:

  1. How to Tell You Have Reached the Point of Burnout, August 2019, verywell mind
  2. 5 Signs That You Are Experiencing Burnout From A Job You Love – And How To Fix It, June 2019, HuffPost
  3. Job burnout: How to spot it and take action, November 2018, MAYO CLINIC
  4. Burnout in Europe, October 2018