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What Does Job Burnout Look Like?

Sick and tired of your job, or is your job the one making you sick and tired? You are not alone if you are experiencing workplace burnout. In fact, many American employees feel exhausted and tired, as portrayed in a recent study that found 79 percent of workers have experienced job-related stress. On top of this, 44 percent of American workers are actively seeking new jobs or quitting altogether.

Job burnout is a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. Burnout is a condition that should be taken very seriously, especially when consistently placed in an environment involving a lot of stress. From a business standpoint, companies need to add prevention methods to their agenda to help decrease burnout. So how can companies become more progressive and help their employees prevent burnout?

Signs of Burnout

Job burnout can negatively impact your mental and physical health. You do your job 5 days a week, for 8 hours a day at the least. This means, that the majority of your lifetime is spent at your job, making burnout a very serious health concern. If you feel like you are experiencing burnout, you need to ask yourself how you have been feeling regarding your nine-to-five. Have you become more cynical at work? Do you have trouble getting started? Do you dread doing your job every day? If you answer yes to any of these, you may be on your way to experiencing burnout.

The symptoms of burnout are much more serious. People who experience burnout suffer consequences such as fatigue, insomnia, anger or irritability, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. This is only the tip of the iceberg, as each of these can have impacts on our health on their own.

Prevention Methods to Eliminate Burnout

When experiencing burnout, people are often told to practice self-care or reach out to someone for support. While those things are beneficial to anyone's state of mind, they are likely not enough. Burnout is a workplace problem, and the workplace environment is triggering these responses in employees.

There is a lot that company leadership can do to help prevent burnout in their employees, starting with educating themselves about their workplace environment. Surveys regarding cultural engagement and targeted data on employee experience should be a top priority for progressive companies aiming to prevent burnout. In general, a major step that leaders can do is to take the heat off employees when they come to them and say they are overwhelmed.

Ways to do this may be by going into a hybrid work environment, giving employees some of their free time back. Another great way to take the heat off is by building a social atmosphere at the workplace, giving people the chance to build relationships and take the edge off. Most importantly, companies should reward their employees for doing a good job to foster a healthy workplace environment.

Source: Thalia Plata (2022) Work Burnout Signs: What to Look for and What to Do About It

Source: Bryan Robinson (2023) Symptoms of Job Burnout and 7 Steps to Recovery

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