In today’s fast-paced work environment, employees are constantly under work pressure to perform and meet different deadlines. Along with work, the family needs are also to be met by the employees. This can lead to burnout, which is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by chronic stress.
“Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”-International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)-
Burnout can be harmful to employees’ health, well-being, and productivity, and in the end, affect the organization’s profit. Burn-out is included in the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as an occupational phenomenon. It is not classified as a medical condition. An additional 44 percent reported feeling sometimes burned out, leaving less than a third of workers who don’t experience burnout.
Condition of Burnout can be in various forms, such as;
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion.
- Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
- Reduced professional efficacy.
While frequently associated with a stressful job but burnout can affect many areas of your life and even cause serious health problems.
What are the signs of burnout?
Burnout looks different for everyone, although it can affect people in 3 dimensions: physically, mentally and emotionally.
Fatigue is a major symptom of burnout and can affect all areas of your life. Need for sleeping all the time or finding that even simple tasks take longer to complete.
- Feeling apathetic or dissatisfied with your work
Everyone has days when they don’t want to get out of bed and go to work. When these feelings persist, it becomes a problem. Being lethargic and complaining about work is the outward behaviour of this symptom.
Having constant headaches and migraine episodes can be a way to figure out when burnout is hitting.
- Changes to your diet or sleep patterns
Tendency to eat more or less than usual or difficulty in sticking to a healthy diet. Sleeping at different times of the day or feeling the need to get more (or fewer) than usual, might be another sign. Sometimes, alcohol consumption or smoking habits can be increased.
The Impact of Burnout at the Workplace
Burnout is a common problem in the workplace, but its impact can be significant. Research has shown that burnout can lead to various negative outcomes for both employees and organizations which can all lead to serious issues.
|Reduced productivity||The difficulty for employees to focus, leading to reduced productivity and performance.|
|Health issues||Physical and mental health problems. Chronic stress caused by work can lead to anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, muscle tension and pain heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory and concentration impairment.|
|High turnover||Employees become disengaged and dissatisfied with their work, leading to high turnover rates due to burnout.|
|Reduced job satisfaction||Reduced job satisfaction and a negative attitude toward work, can further impact work productivity and performance.|
Organizations should use a proactive approach to prevent burnout. Here are some strategies that organizations can use to prevent burnout among their employees:
- Create a supportive work and safe environment.
Having a supportive work environment by promoting work-life balance, providing employee support and wellness programs, and fostering a positive workplace culture.
- Offer flexible work arrangements.
Providing flexible work schedules and arrangements can help to avoid burnout. Having remote work or flexible hours can help employees to manage their workload and reduce work stress.
- Recognize and reward good work.
Recognizing and appreciating good work can help boost employee morale and motivation. It will also prevent burnout and give more motivation to work productively.
- Professional development opportunities
Offering training and development opportunities can help employees develop new skills and stay engaged in their work and development. Trying new skills and engaging in new projects can remove stagnation and boredom.
- Encourage open communication.
Open communication between employees and managers can help identify and address issues that can lead to burnout and prevent them from becoming a problem. Sharing workplace issues can be a ventilation and that can increase trust and participation among employees.
- Encourage breaks and downtime.
Encouraging employees to take short breaks and relax time can help them recharge and avoid burnout. Having office activities and games can increase motivation too.
A study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that Organizations that implemented workplace wellness programs saw a 26% reduction in healthcare costs and a 28% reduction in sick leave.
Burnout is a serious problem in the workplace, and it not only affects the employee but also the organization. The impact can be significant, and organizations should take proactive steps to prevent burnout by creating a supportive and a safe work environment and ensuring the wellbeing of the employees. By doing so, organizations can ensure that their employees remain healthy, engaged, and productive, and avoid the negative impact of burnout at the workplace.