Burnout at work: how we reach our limits at the workplace

Stress is the second most common work-related problem in Europe. Its chronicity implies psycho-social risks like burnout.

article burnout
10/01/2018 · The Homuork Team

Among the musts of every New Year’s celebration, many of us make have a list of intents. The most common intents usually consist in doing sports, eating healthier or quitting smoking… so, most are related to improving our personal well-being. However, we rarely come to think of our well-being at work when, at the end of the day, work is an essential part of our lives. The oversight of our health at work might lead to situations of stress, anxiety and, in the worst cases, to developing a burnout syndrome. What it is commonly known as “being burn out”.

Here are some numbers that may help us understanding the magnitude of the problem. According to Psycho-social Risks Observatory of the UGT (Spanish Union):

  • 75% of workers suffer from stress arising from their working environment.
  • 16% admit that they work in a hostile environment in which violent behaviours take place.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) itself states that work-related stress is the second most frequent health problem in Europe, right after musculoskeletal disorders. An extended period of work-related stress might eventually become a Burnout Syndrome.

The causes of Burnout are diverse: excessive work-load, accumulated overtimes, lack of control, confusion of the functions to be developed, or cohabitation issues in an inadequate working environment. Besides, beyond the factors directly related to work, social pressure on certain jobs might accelerate a burnout process, like in the case of doctors or teachers. 

However, we shouldn’t mistake the Burnout Syndrome with other work-related Psycho-social risks. Burnout could be the consequence of chronic stress, but a one-time stressful period doesn’t necessarily mean that we are burn out. Likewise, we may be unsatisfied with our job, whether because of the working conditions or the development of our functions, but this doesn’t always derive into burnout.

People suffering from a Burnout Syndrome feel exhausted and burnt just from having to carry out their working duties.

What are the previous phases before a Burnout? In the course “Preventing Burnout at Work” - soon available at Homuork, we are going to learn all about them. Here come a few of the key points of this entry:

  • Being excessively self-demanding to prove our value
  • Being unable to disconnect from work, affecting our sleeping and eating habits
  • Neglecting our relationships and our personal leisure
  • Denial of the problem and irritability
  • Changes in our behaviour
  • Feeling empty and depressed

These are some of the previous phases before falling into a Burnout Syndrome, and the only way to prevent this is knowing how to detect them in order to solve them as soon as possible. In our course “Preventing Burnout at Work” you are going to learn how to identify the symptoms and to apply the adequate prevention strategies to stop them before it is too late. 

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The Homuork Team