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Burnout: An Invisible Danger

What is Burnout?

Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion, cynicism and ineffectiveness in the workplace resulting in chronic negative responses to stressful workplace conditions. Burnout can be considered a mental health topic that is having a growing impact on workplaces, in particular, in advanced economies during times of economic downturn.

Signs and Symptoms:

The negative effects of burnout can increase significantly before anyone recognizes or addresses the problem. This can increase the chance of developing clinical depression or other serious conditions. Some signs and symptoms showing an employee could be experiencing burnout include:

  • Anxiety

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue and Irritability

  • Lack of Sleep

  • Negative Attitudes Toward Work or Co-Workers

  • Absenteeism

  • Job Turnover

  • Low Commitment to the Role

Workforce Solutions:

  1. Enforce reasonable working hours, flexibility in working schedules, sending employees home early after a long exhausting day.

  2. Support physical activity, even virtually, through organizing Yoga sessions or wellness-oriented sessions to target fatigue and exhaustion.

  3. Provide adequate resources, training and support for employees to meet the expectations of the job.

  4. Discuss workload restrictions openly to offer support with tasks at hand so that employees feel encourages and less anxious about their work commitments.

  5. Ensure employees have access to group health benefits, EAP and communicate these frequently so that they can take advantage of these benefits.

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