3 Ways To Recognise Burnout in Your Workplace

3 Ways To Recognise Burnout in Your Workplace

What is Burnout?

Leadership Burnout, Physician Burnout, Fitness Burnout, Entrepreneur Burnout.

It seems Burnout is at an all-time high with millennials being dubbed as the ‘Burnout Generation’

In our fast paced society has being stressed out and overworked become the norm rather than the exception and is this a phenomenon set to grow in the future of work?

The definition of burnout, according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) is specifically defined in an occupational context.

A syndrome that results from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

Characteristics of Burnout

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion. This could be feeling constantly tired even when you have had sufficient rest or sleep. If you have just returned from a holiday or had a break from your job, yet you are still feeling exhausted. It could be a sign you are burnout
  • Increased Mental Distance. People experiencing burnout often feel disconnected and lack motivation, feeling negative or cynical about work or even their home life and relationships
  • Reduced Productivity. You could be spending more time at work, but you are becoming less productive and your professional efficacy is limited. You just don’t seem to be able to produce your usual output and standard of work


Burnout does not usually resolve itself naturally. It is a myth, if you think you can just carry on and things will go back to normal.

Ignoring burnout may get you into a crisis mental health state, leading to emotional breakdown, relationship difficulties and taking extended sickness absence from work.

To beat burn out you need to take action, but first you need to identify you are burnt out and then implement some strategies or support to manage it.



3 Ways To Spot Early Warning Signs


  1. Presenteeism If you are spending too much time at work, you come into work when you are sick and do not take holidays. In cultures, where long hours are expected, this may not be so easy to spot. Also, in the age of digital connection, where we are constantly connected it is also becoming the norm. Hence, it can feel awkward or alien to switch off and not respond immediately to emails. If you are on holiday answering work e-mails, this could be a warning sign that you are working too much.
  2. Increased alcohol consumption If you find yourself drinking more than usual and alcohol is helping to take the edge off your day. Perhaps, you are unable to sleep and too often you are drinking more to feel relaxed. Even though alcohol is a depressant and it does relax the central nervous system. It also disrupts sleep and interferes with you having a good and restful nights sleep. Beware increased alcohol consumption is only a temporary coping strategy with longer term side effects.
  3. Unexplained pain or other physical health issues if you have experienced consistent headaches, pain or other physical health conditions which are unexplained. Despite several blood tests, checks and appointments with the GP they have not been able to find a diagnosis. This could be the warning signs of stress, burnout or other mental health conditions. It is often much easier to express psychic or emotional pain through physical ailments. A simple diagnostic questionnaire could rule this out. Try to also get screened for stress, anxiety or depression.


If you recognise these early warning signs in your team or colleagues, as an employer you must take action. Learn how to manage disclosure with confidence FREE training HERE