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Workplace burnout – and how to avoid it

Workplace burnout was first recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2019 as an ‘occupational phenomenon’. Since the start of the pandemic, many of us have experienced a big shift in our home and working lives.

Lockdowns, working from home, money worries and isolation have contributed to high levels of anxiety in many people. In a working environment this can manifest itself in burnout.



What is burnout?

According to Mental Health UK, burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It can occur when you experience long-term stress in your job, or when you have worked in a physically or emotionally draining role for a long time.

Common signs of burnout

  • Feeling tired or drained most of the time
  • Having a cynical/negative outlook
  • Feeling helpless, trapped and/or defeated
  • Self-doubt
  • Feeling detached/alone in the world
  • Procrastinating and taking longer to get things done
  • Feeling overwhelmed

Many people confuse workplace burnout with anxiety, but according to the WHO definition, workplace burnout specifically refers to ‘chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’.

It’s essential that workplace burnout is identified and managed, not only for the employee’s sake in terms of health and wellbeing, but also for employers’ productivity.

How can we avoid workplace burnout?

This resource by Ben on How to Avoid Burnout and Stress In The Digital Age is a comprehensive guide to workplace burnout and covers the following:

  • What is burnout and why does it happen?
  • What does burnout feel like – the emotional, mental and physical signs to look out for
  • How to avoid workplace burnout – and the role that companies play in this
  • How to spot burnout triggers and symptoms
  • The impact of burnout on companies and individuals
  • Useful links and resources

Workplace burnout is incredibly damaging for both individuals and companies. But it can be avoided. If you are a professional and feel that your work-life balance is not right for you, this can be a major contributory factor in workplace burnout. Trying to work too many hours whilst juggling the rest of your life can be incredibly stressful. If that is a scenario that sounds familiar, we can help. We work with a number of enlightened employers, who can see the value of offering flexible and often part-time working to both employee and employer.

Burnout is not inevitable – get in touch with us now if we can help change things around for you.

And if you’re an employer thinking about how to avoid burnout in your staff, consider offering and recruiting more flexibly – get in touch to discuss how we might be able to help.

2 min read