In today's fast-paced world, the pressure to achieve and excel seems never-ending. We often find ourselves juggling multiple responsibilities, both at work and in our personal lives. As a result, burnout has become an alarmingly common phenomenon.
At work, there is a stress epidemic. The State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report states that 44% of employees report a high amount of daily stress and up to 61% of U.S. professionals feel like they're on the edge of (or have already reached) burnout.
In the healthcare industry, 1/3rd of nurses said they planned to quit their job by the end of 2022 and they cited burnout and a high stress environment as reasons for leaving.
So how do you even know if you or members of your team are experiencing burnout? Here are 5 signs to look out for.
Exhaustion that Lingers: When overwhelming fatigue becomes an everyday experience, it's time to take notice. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 61% of respondents reported feeling exhausted due to work-related stress. Persistent exhaustion can lead to difficulty concentrating, decreased productivity, and a compromised immune system.
Loss of Interest and Motivation: Have you noticed a decline in your enthusiasm for activities or your work that you once enjoyed? This lack of interest and motivation is a classic sign of burnout. A study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that individuals experiencing burnout were more likely to feel disengaged from their work, leading to decreased job satisfaction and lower overall performance. Nearly 60% of workers are "quiet quitting", meaning that they are psychologically disengaged from work.
- Emotional Roller Coaster: Unexplained mood swings, irritability, and a shorter fuse could be indications of burnout. Research published in Frontiers in Psychology highlights that burnout can lead to emotional exhaustion, feelings of cynicism, and reduced personal accomplishment. These emotional imbalances not only impact our work life but also strain our personal relationships.
- Declining Physical Health: Burnout doesn't just affect our mental state—it takes a toll on our physical health as well. Chronic stress resulting from burnout can contribute to a weakened immune system, sleep disturbances, and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine found that burnout is associated with a higher likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome.
- Decreased Performance: When burnout starts to impede our ability to perform at our best, it becomes a serious concern. Research from Gallup reveals that burned-out employees are 63% more likely to take sick days and 23% more likely to visit the emergency room. Burnout not only affects individuals but also has significant financial implications for organizations due to decreased productivity and increased absenteeism.
Are the signs pointing to burnout? If it is, you're not alone as burnout affects many of us. It's crucial to prioritize rest and recovery, set boundaries and seek support when needed.