Burnout syndrome. What is it? 6 ideas to avoid it
Did you have a bad night’s sleep? Do you feel like everyday is just another day at the office? Does your job put you in a bad mood every morning? Do you wake up every morning feeling tired and discouraged? Your appearance may even be affected. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see? Does your stomach hurt? You might not be happy with your everyday life. You have to do something about it.
Do you feel this way? Then, you may be suffering from the popular burnout syndrome. In this article, we will find out what it is and we’ll give you some ideas to prevent it.
What is the burnout syndrome?
The burnout syndrome is a problem that affects thousands of workers around the world (in some places is estimated to have reached around 30-40% of professionals), and it is a type of work-related chronic stress, which shows some problems such as physical and mental exhaustion, demotivation and even depression.
It was first described in 1969 by researcher H.B. Bradley and was developed in 1974 by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, who claims that the “work overload” is a determining factor in the syndrome.
The workers who suffer from this problem are usually people who are very responsible and committed to their employment, and by facing excessive workloads; they end up overwhelmed, exhausted and discouraged. Another relevant factor of this burnout syndrome is that it is often manifested in workers who are frequently associated with clients, such as health workers (doctors, nurses, etc.), teachers, or workers who work in customer service, (specially telephone operators). Even though these are the jobs in which you are more prone to be affected by the burnout syndrome, it could also manifest itself in any type of employment.
Specific factors that facilitate the onset of the syndrome are long working hours (if you work more than 8 hours a day), or bad sleeping habits, excessive responsibility and stress, a bad working environment, extremely low pay or working in the same place for too long. Apart from the job-related factors, there are also some other factors, such as family or financial problems, which can increase the chances of suffering the burnout syndrome.
The burnout syndrome manifests itself through multiple symptoms, such as stomach discomfort, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, pessimism, discouragement or work absenteeism. In particular, those people who suffer from burnout syndrome, they lose the ability to enjoy both their work and their free time. Also, their relatives and close friends may be affected by their mood changes. In some cases, it can cause depression, and even some cases of suicide have been reported.
Find out how to prevent burnout syndrome
If you have a company or if you hold a management position, there are some ways for you to prevent burnout syndrome so that it doesn’t affect your workers. Here are some ideas.
– Take care of the well-being of your workers.
Take care of your workers and learn to detect the onset of burnout syndrome. If you think some people within your company might be affected by it, then talk to them or let someone you trust have a talk with them, bear in mind that the people who suffer from this syndrome, might not be willing to accept that they are suffering from it, so let them know that they can receive professional treatment and don’t forget to take the necessary measures to prevent it from going further.
– Distribute the workload accordingly.
As we said earlier, a determining factor in the onset of the syndrome is a work overload. So do not let that happen. Do not overwhelm your workers with too many tasks as this can create burnout syndrome among your workers, and it might even lower their performance.
– Provide a good working environment.
By this we mean, having great furniture, lighting, temperature, as well as encouraging good relationships among the workers, and providing a great working environment, all of this will be essential in order to get rid of the burnout syndrome. You can find some ideas to improve the environment at work in these articles and how to manage work-related stress.
– Provide the right tools to work.
By this we mean, having the right equipment and facilities as well as the right training, so you must provide your workers with the right tools so that they can properly do their work. Otherwise, you will find low performances, stress and anxiety since they are not able to complete their work.
– Pay fair wages
Low salary leads to discouragement. And if they are having money problems then they are very prone to burnout syndrome. Poor salary can be an unbearable burden for some people and it can create a sense of weariness, discouragement and even lower their performance. Is that what you want?
– Provide labour flexibility.
In some situations there are non-work factors that can add extra doses of stress to the workday. People who find it difficult to get to the workplace – because they have to deal with traffic jams – or those who struggle to have a great life and work balance, these people have a great amount of pressure which can lead to burnout syndrome. Therefore, providing a flexible working day, or even teleworking (partially or totally) can be a great thing to avoid greater problems.
Finally, remember that burnout syndrome can become a very serious condition, so it must be seriously treated. As we said earlier, some cases of suicide related to this problem have been reported in some countries. So if you think that you, or someone you know, may be suffering from it, the first thing you need to do is to seek help.
Enjoy your life and your job. Don’t let this syndrome affect you.
And if you have a time, get to know eHorus. I’m sure it will help you a great deal.