Burnout Warning Signs to Watch Out For


Burnout has been called the biggest occupational hazard of the 21st century. And it seems the higher you climb on the career ladder, the more likely you are to experience it. Are you, or your employees, at risk for burnout? There are some clear warning signs that can alert us to potential burnout. These signs can be sorted into three main areas: exhaustion, detachment and ineffectiveness.

Signs of Exhaustion

Most of us enjoy a cup or two of coffee throughout the workday, but those suffering from burnout go far beyond the norm. Physical exhaustion, sometimes caused by insomnia, takes its toll on a person. Reliance on caffeine or sugar to get through the day is a warning sign for burnout.

A person suffering from burnout, or on the verge of it, may feel physically ill. When you’re constantly working and not taking care of yourself, your immune system breaks down. Calling in sick, complaining of headaches, stomachaches or even heart palpitations could all be signs of potential burnout.

Emotional exhaustion is also a major symptom of burnout. This can be manifested through a short temper, visible tension or irritability. A person on the verge of burning out may have a hard time adjusting to changes or dealing with even minor problems.

Signs of Detachment

Someone who is burning out at work may have always loved their job, but now find no joy in it. They may make cynical comments or stop socializing with co-workers. They may start coming in late or leaving early. This change will be especially noticeable if the person is an overachiever as they are most likely to experience burnout.

Signs of Ineffectiveness

As symptoms of burnout worsen, cynicism and exhaustion will start to make the worker ask, “What’s the point?” They may have trouble focusing and start missing deadlines. Some people who are burning out will put in long hours trying to make up for their lack of productivity, but this will only make the problem worse.

What to Do About Burnout

Do you recognize any of the above symptoms in yourself or your employees? Talking about burnout can take the stigma away from it. Some people think burnout is a sign of weakness, but that thinking is counterproductive. If you see signs of burnout, address them right away before they get worse!

Did you know that nearly half of Americans report their workload as the main source of workplace stress? (source: AIS) If your employees are struggling with too much to do, consider hiring a temporary worker to help get caught up. Help your staff avoid burnout by making Staffing Partners your go-to Oregon Temp Agency.

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