According to Mental Health UK 1 in 5 UK workers felt unable to manage pressure and stress levels at work
Job burnout can have significant consequences, including:
- Excessive stress
- Sadness, anger or irritability
- Alcohol or substance misuse
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Vulnerability to illnesses
It is important to recognise the possible causes and how to take action to prevent job burnout.
Possible causes of job burnout
Job burnout can result from various factors, including:
- Lack of control.An inability to influence decisions that affect your job — such as your schedule, assignments or workload — could lead to job burnout. So could a lack of the resources you need to do your work.
- Unclear job expectations.If you’re unclear about the degree of authority you have or what your boss or others expect from you, you’re not likely to feel comfortable at work.
- Dysfunctional workplace dynamics.Perhaps you feel undermined by colleagues, or your boss micromanages your work. This can contribute to job stress.
- Extremes of activity.When a job is monotonous or chaotic, you need constant energy to remain focused — which can lead to fatigue and job burnout.
- Lack of social support.If you feel isolated at work and in your personal life, you might feel more stressed.
- Work-life imbalance.If your work takes up so much of your time and effort that you don’t have the energy to spend time with your family and friends, you might burn out quickly.
Handling job burnout
Try to take action. To get started:
- Evaluate your options.Discuss specific concerns with your boss. Maybe you can work together to change expectations or reach compromises or solutions. Try to set goals for what must get done and what can wait.
- Seek support.Whether you reach out to colleagues, friends or loved ones, support and collaboration might help you cope. If you have access to an employee assistance program, take advantage of relevant services.
- Try a relaxing activity.Explore programs that can help with stress such as yoga, meditation or tai chi.
- Get some exercise.Regular physical activity can help you to better deal with stress. It can also take your mind off work.
- Get some sleep.Sleep restores well-being and helps protect your health.
- Mindfulness is the act of focusing on your breath flow and being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling at every moment, without interpretation or judgment. In a job setting, this practice involves facing situations with openness and patience, and without judgment.
For mental health information and support visit www.mentalhealth-uk.org