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24 Oct 2023

What is Workplace Burnout and How Can we Manage it?

What is Workplace Burnout and How Can we Manage it?

What is Workplace Burnout?

Workplace burnout refers specifically to burnout that is caused by work-related stressors, it occurs when the demands of work exceed an individual’s ability to cope, leading to a state of chronic stress and exhaustion. Burnout is not just about feeling tired or stressed though – it is a more severe condition that can result in a range of negative outcomes, including reduced work performance, absenteeism, interpersonal conflicts, and even physical and mental health problems.

Burnout can affect individuals in any profession, from entry-level employees to senior executives, and can be particularly prevalent in high-stress industries such as healthcare, law enforcement, and finance. The causes of workplace burnout can vary, they can often include factors such as high workloads, long hours, a lack of control over one’s work, unclear job expectations, poor relationships with co-workers or management, and a lack of social support at work.

Impact of Workplace Burnout on Employees

Often when burnout is present in the workplace it usually creeps in subtly over time, impacting workers in a way they almost don’t notice. It is characterized by feelings of overwhelmed exhaustion, cynicism or detachment from work, and a sense of decreased effectiveness and accomplishment. Workplace burnout can manifest in a variety of ways, including physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach-aches, emotional symptoms such as anxiety or depression, and behavioural symptoms such as decreased productivity or increased absenteeism.

While working from home has become the new norm for many, studies show that remote workers are 14% more likely to burnout than hybrid workers. Employees may feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities at work and forget to take time off or disconnect from their computers at the end of the day. Across Europe 4 out of 10 employees check work-related emails or answer work-related phone calls out of hours. Many have suggested that they feel pressured by supervisors to devote more hours to their duties, resulting in employees going into what has been coined as ‘professional burnout’. A survey by Indeed revealed that 53% of participant who were remote workers found themselves spending more time on the job despite being at home.

How to Spot the Signs of Workplace Burnout

Recognising employee burnout signs and analysing their frequency in the workplace can help you assess the stress levels of your staff. To keep high employee productivity and enthusiasm at work, you must spot workplace burnout early. A common burnout symptom is when an employee no longer feels valuable to the company and detaches themselves from it as a defence mechanism, those who feel burnt out often feel as though they can't provide much to their company. According to Deloitte 50% of all absenteeism at work relates to mental health challenges. Due to high levels of stress, employees may take extra leave or more than one unnecessary sick day to escape the workplace environment.

How Can You Reduce Workplace Burnout?

Dealing with burnout isn’t something an individual employee can do independently. They’ll need support to deal with the stressors of a full-time job. A strong management support system and an understanding of what causes workplace burnout, allows employers to effectively prevent their organisation from burning out. Employers can take steps to reduce workplace stress and support employee wellbeing, such as providing resources for stress management and access to an employee assistance programme. They can also offer flexible work arrangement for staff, promoting a positive work-culture that prioritises work-life balance.

Employees are 43% less likely to experience high levels of burnout when they have a choice in what tasks to do, when to do them, and how much time to spend on them. Employees can also take steps to prevent or manage workplace burnout, it is important that individuals prioritise self-care, set realistic goals and boundaries, seek social support from co-workers and friends, and communicate with their supervisors about their needs and concerns.

How Can Wellity Support Your Organisation with Workplace Burnout?

Employee burnout is a significant issue that impacts an employee’s mental health and well-being as well as the organisation as a whole. Business leaders play a crucial role in helping workers avoid and overcome burnout, creating a positive work atmosphere, and igniting engagement. 35% of workers state their organisations have nothing in place to help stave off employee burnout.

Wellity offers training sessions around the significant topic of burnout. These sessions enable delegates to understand what burnout is, discover anti-burnout strategies, establish the psychological impact of being switched on 24/7 and learn how to manage stress effectively.

Banishing Burnout
- Disrupting Digital Burnout
- Distress to De-Stress
- Stress Awareness & Management

Employers need to become aware of what workplace burnout is, how it becomes a problem, and how they can prevent it from affecting the well-being of their employees.
For more information on other training topics we offer, contact the Wellity team today at for more details.

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