Education and Career Information


Workplace Burnout:

Surviving workplace exhaustion with resilience

The World Health Organization describes burnout as an occupational phenomenon and is not related to a person’s health or medical conditions.

But it has the potential to impact one’s health and well-being if not addressed in a timely manner. Also, not all personality traits experience burnout in a workplace.

Factors such as past work experiences can affect burnout risk. This explains why – if two employees are dealing with the same workplace issues – one might experience burnout while the other person does not.

Burnout affects both physical health like sleep disturbances and decreased immune function (among many) and mental health like heightened anxiety levels and depression. Over time, this may also lead to cardio-vascular problems and mental health disorders.

What is Workplace Burnout

Workplace Burnout is a kind of stress related to work. Individuals experiencing it may feel worn out physically and mentally.

It also includes a person feeling useless, powerless, and empty. It is the result of prolonged exposure to elements like high job demands, lack of social support, etc.

This condition not only impacts individual productivity and job satisfaction but also decreases organizational performance.

We often relate burnout with depression, but both are two separate conditions. Although burnout is often seen to increase the chances of depression.

Workplace burnout and depression share similarities but are distinct concepts. Depression is a broader mental health condition  influenced by factors like genetics, biology, and life events. It involves persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities – affecting personal and professional spheres.

Are you burned-out ?

To assess the possibility of job burnout, reflect on the following questions. These questions can serve as a self-check to gauge the presence of job burnout and help identify areas that may need attention for improved well-being in the workplace.

  • Is it hard to focus on your job?
  • Do you force yourself to work every day, if not most of the time?
  • Do you doubt your skills and abilities?
  • Do you feel disconnected with co-workers, clients, or customers?
  • Do you question the value of your work?
  • Have your sleep habits changed?
  • Do you have headaches, stomach or bowel problems, or other physical complaints with no known cause?

If you have answered yes to most of the questions, then you may be experiencing a workplace burnout. But before heading to know the solutions, we first need to understand what causes this stress.

According to a McKinsey Research, when employees are asked about the aspects of job that undermines their mental and physical health, many cite the feeling of unreasonable workload, low autonomy, unfair treatment, and lack of social support as the top causes.

Possible causes of Workplace Burnout

Some reasons may be:

1. Lack of Control

When you feel that you lack control or have minimal influence over key job aspects such as schedule, assignments, or workload then it can contribute to exhaustion and frustration.

Moreover, insufficient access to the necessary resources for performing tasks can further intensify burnout.

2. Lack of Clarity on Expectations

Ambiguity regarding job expectations is a significant factor contributing to job burnout.

When employees lack clear guidance on what is expected from them by their superiors or colleagues, it can lead to a sense of uncertainty and undermine their confidence in their performance.

3. Interpersonal Conflicts

Workplace conflicts, whether with an office bully, perceived opposition from co-workers, or excessive involvement from a boss, contribute significantly to job stress.

Dealing with such conflicts can be emotionally draining and negatively impact job satisfaction.

4. Excessive or Insufficient workload

Experiencing either an excessive or insufficient workload can contribute to job burnout.

A monotonous or unchallenging job may lead to boredom, while an overwhelming workload can result in exhaustion and an inability to meet demands.

Striking a balance that aligns with one’s skills and interests is crucial.

5. Work-Life Imbalance

Struggles with work-life balance, where work demands consume excessive time and energy, leaving little room for personal relationships or leisure, contribute significantly to job burnout.

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is essential for overall well-being.

While most of the possible reasons for the workplace burnout may be due to organizational factors which are not in your control, we can still manage to avoid this by proactively working on some essential must-do’s.

How do deal with workplace burnout?

Workplace Strategies

  • Speak up for more control over your work and make sure you’ve got the tools and support you need to do your job well.
  • Make sure everyone’s on the same page by keeping communication clear and open. Set expectations, ask for feedback, and clarify responsibilities to avoid any confusion. When everyone knows what’s what, things run smoother and everyone’s happier.
  • Handle conflicts the right way by using the proper channels and aim for a positive and team-friendly work vibe.
  • Ask for chances to learn new skills and keep your workload manageable. It’s all about finding that sweet spot for better work experience.

Strategies that prioritizes your well-being

  • Practice meditation and mindfulness.
  • Get physically active.
  • Get adequate rest and sleep.


So, there you have it – the secret sauce to dodge the burnout blues. Spice up your work-life recipe with clear communication, a dash of autonomy, and a pinch of manageable tasks. Stir in some positive vibes, and voila! Burnout, who?

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