Workplace burnout refers to a condition of extreme mental and physical exhaustion due to being overworked constantly with no respite for a prolonged period. Burnout is now officially diagnosed as a medical condition by the World Health Organisation as well.
So what exactly causes workplace burnout and how it can affect you. Let’s take a look.
The causes of workplace burnout
Severe overworking. When you’re working long hours everyday or working under super tight deadlines, it causes a lot of stress. Then, your system produces more cortisol and the body is programmed to counter that high rise of cortisol in short bursts. When you start being overworked for long periods of time and keep facing stress, your body is unable to respond to the demands and cannot beat the stress. As a result, you keep feeling more and more stressed without any respite, which leads to workplace burnout. Working from home may exacerbate this problem as lines between work & personal time get blurred.
Lack of support. It’s important to have a proper support system, at home and at work. If this isn’t the case, it can cause a variety of issues. From uncertainty and instability to loneliness and stress, lack of support can definitely cause burnout. This is because you are unable to vent out your frustrations or release stress. As a result, you get stuck in a vicious cycle of feeling overwhelmed and stressed with no way to cope.
Lack of control. When you have no control over your deadlines, resources, assignments or schedule, it becomes difficult to do your job effectively. You’re in a state of worry and uncertainty, with no way of fixing things. This can cause workplace stress and over time, severe burnout.
How it affects you
Lack of motivation. When you experience burnout, you lose interest and motivation. This encompasses your job, your personal life and household activities. You feel lethargic, bored, disinterred and don’t find joy in anything at all. As a result, your productivity may go down, personal life may suffer and you feel dissatisfied.
Prone to illness. Due to the excessive stress, your immune system weakens. When facing workplace burnout, the increased levels of cortisol inhibits your body’s natural response to attacks from bacteria and viruses. Moreover, it directly impacts the number of white blood cells your body produces and hampers your natural inflammation response.
Trouble sleeping and insomnia. Stress is a common issue that affects sleep. Since burnout is more intense, it adversely impacts your sleep, sleeping pattern and can even create sleep debt. Since you’re always under pressure and stressed, your body and brain are unable to cope or get any downtime! It can even lead to potential insomnia. Trying to get enough sleep is important and following a routine to break the cycle helps.
Workplace burnout is a common occurrence with 84% millennials claiming to have experienced burnout at least once during their career. It’s important to manage stress proactively and avoid workplace burnout before it gets worse. Being aware of the signs of burnout, how to recover from one and manage workplace stress are all key components. Knowing how to release tension and stress instantly can help you stay balanced in the moment.
If you resonated with any of the points above, you may want to take our workplace burnout self-test and assess your burnout levels!
Evolve’s guided audios help you manage stress proactively and bring relief within minutes with a series of light and joyful exercises!