Revealing Employee Burnout Signs

Less productivity is also among the employee burnout signs.

Less productivity is also among the employee burnout signs. 

Addressing employee burnout signs early will not only help maintain a healthy relationship in the office, more importantly, but it can also help reduce the risk of worsening symptoms and health consequences.

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What is Job Burnout?

Job burnout is a form of work-related stress wherein a person feels physical or emotional exhaustion involving reduced productivity, loss of personal identity, and the inability to accomplish tasks. 

It is a medical diagnosis and a syndrome that results from chronic work-related stress, which affects the worker’s health and well-being. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that employee burnout is a syndrome caused by chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Several physical and mental health symptoms may accompany the condition. 

If employee burnout signs left unaddressed, it can make it hard for the individual to function well and perform their daily activities. 

How to Judge Employee Burnout Signs?

Addressing job burnout early can help reduce the risk of worsening symptoms and health consequences. Here are some of the tell-tale signs to watch out for:

1. Exhaustion

One of the employee burnout signs is exhaustion, wherein they complain about feeling tired all the time. Stress overload at work can make it hard for employees to relax and rest at the end of the day. 

The worse scenario is, they might even find it difficult to fall asleep and sleep well. 

Due to sleep problems, they may experience problems at work, such as sleepiness. In worse cases, they will experience memory problems, poor concentration, and physical pain. 

At the end of the shift, they are too tired to do anything enjoyable with friends and family. 

2. Decreased Productivity and Quality of Work

Workers who are burned out are constantly playing catch-up. They may submit late or miss deadlines. In some cases, they get very little done even if they are working very hard. 

In companies that observe a decrease in sales or projects completed, the employee responsible for them may be burned-out. The issue may occur repeatedly and may cause productivity problems. 

Employers can also notice the decreasing quality of work, or a hardworking employee who performs well before may not cope with current deadlines and work demands. 

A top-ranking employee may also feel burned out that the performance is waning until they become lazy to perform well. 

3. Frequent Mistakes

Committing mistakes in the workplace may be acceptable if it happens just once due to accidents. However, if it occurs repeatedly, it may be one of the employee burnout signs. If the work is related to health or patients’ lives, this is one of the worst things that may happen.

One of the critical signs of burnout is when employees are unable to concentrate or remember important things. Companies may need to investigate, especially when employees are constantly making mistakes or forgetting important deadlines or meetings.  

RELATED: Are You Burned Out?

4. Sick Days

Burned-out employees who are stressed and exhausted may have negative health effects. Always taking time off work due to sickness may also signal that the employee has job burnout. 

Stress can take a toll not only on mental health but also to the physical health. Stressing too much, lack of sleep, tiredness, and lack of rest may cause several health problems, including frequent headaches, cardiovascular disease, increased bouts of flu and colds, stomach issues, heart palpitations, dizziness, and drowsiness. 

5. Irritability

Workplace tension and stress can result in a clash of personalities. Employees may not get along with others well due to irritability, which can also be among the employee burnout signs. 

Being irritable may signal that a person is under a lot of pressure, feelings of being ineffective or unimportant, or the loss of efficiency at work. 

Further, staying on edge most of the time can lead to irritability, restlessness, mood swings, and impatience. 

6. Cynicism 

One of the key signs of job burnout is cynicism or having a cynical attitude. This means that the employee’s passion has been exhausted and becomes self-centered, profit-focused, and insensitive. 

Cynicism is also called depersonalization, wherein workers may have negative or inappropriate attitudes towards customers, clients, loss of idealism, irritability, and withdrawal. It may also affect one’s trust in their coworkers or supervisors. 

Being cynical can negatively impact productivity levels, causing reduced personal accomplishment, low morale, and the inability to cope. 

Health Consequences of Job Burnout

Staring at the screen

While everyone talks about success, productivity, and career achievements, employee burnout signs are less tackled. Many people experience this overwhelming feeling of dread and mental exhaustion due to managing work pressure improperly. 

Over 66 percent of full-time workers experienced burnout at work, and about 23 percent felt it frequently. Also, 63 percent of the employees are more likely to have a sick day, 23 percent are at risk of visiting the emergency room, 13 percent are less confident in their performance, and burned-out workers are 2.6 times as likely to resign from their current employer. 

The pandemic has also contributed to these feelings since the change in work shifts, additional work due to infection control measures, and work-from-home setups. 

It is well-known that workplace stress can take a toll on one’s mental and physical health. A study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that physical health outcomes such as cardiovascular diseases and the risk factors for these diseases, including hyperlipidemia, obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and abnormal lipid profiles are employee burnout signs. 

The researchers also identified other health impacts such as musculoskeletal disorders, including back pain, neck-shoulder pain, pain-related disability, and unexplained tiredness or fatigue. 

Meanwhile, the psychological impacts of job burnout included insomnia, sleep disturbances, and depressive symptoms. Further, burnout was also a predictor of being admitted to the hospital due to mental disorders. 

Employers must oversee the welfare of their workers and consider the employee burnout signs at the earliest. For employees experiencing stress and pressure, seeking help or talking about it with colleagues or employers is an excellent way to handle the situation. It’s also essential to take regular breaks during the workday, weekends, or holidays to unwind and cope with stress. 

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