According to HSE, around 15.4 million working days we lost in 12 months due to work-related stress or anxiety last year, with 23 per cent of full-time employees admitting to feeling burned out at work all the time.
Lucinda Pullinger, Global Head of HR at The Instant Group, identifies the early signs of burnout and how to effectively avoid hitting ‘rock bottom.’
- High Workload: In the UK, 44% of stress or depression at work is caused by a high workload
- Unclear Job Expectations: In America, only 60% of employees say they know what is expected
- Conflict: One of the main work-related factors causing burnout
- Lack of Managerial Support: Those with a strong support system are 70% less likely to experience burnout
- No Work/Life Balance: The inability to manage work and personal life can have a snowball effect
- Stressful Working Environment: There is a correlation between stressful jobs and burnout
Career Burnout Symptoms
Over-engagement is a symptom of high-stress levels. Going to sleep and waking up thinking about a problem or a deadline is a perfect example of over-engagement. When you start to disengage with your work or personal problems by ignoring or avoiding them, burnout warning bells should start ringing.
Burnout, however, is characterised by helplessness and hopelessness; the belief that nothing you do is going to have any effect on your situation or drive any real change.
When under stress, you may find that your emotions are exaggerated and more difficult to control, resulting in you becoming angrier or upset easier than usual. With blunted emotions, however, you may feel that you do not have the energy to react emotionally to situations, or that you are unable to feel excited or worried at all.
Effective Ways to Deal with Burnout
Acknowledge your problems
Make a list of all things you worry about daily, including the things you feel that you have no power to change.
Whether it’s from a co-worker or manager, talking about the problem and seeking advice is a critical step into addressing the causes of your burnout.
Book time off
In some cases, merely having some time away from work, helps re-evaluate your priorities and enables you to get to the root of your stresses.
Slow it down
It’s vitally important to learn to create a mental divide between work and your life outside it, as it’s extremely unhealthy and unproductive to be thinking about work during ‘off time’.
Ask for more flexibility
With a huge shift towards businesses becoming more agile, the growth of remote working, and an increasing amount of co-working and flexible workspace options around the world, more companies are starting to introduce flexible working hours to reduce commuting time and increase happiness.
Take a few minutes each day to acknowledge your anxieties for what they are; irrational and exaggerated and prioritise things like spending time with friends and family and outdoor activities.
Burnout has genuine health implications, and we strongly recommend that you seek professional help in overcoming it.