Stress and burnout at work: Symptoms and solutions

Noel Collins - Health and Safety Team Leader

November 02 2021

Last updated: November 2nd, 2021

Employee stress and burnout are, unfortunately, common issues in the modern working era.

In 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised burnout as an “occupational phenomenon”. And, revealed through research conducted by the Mater Private, almost 70% of employees said they experienced some form of stress (which leads to burnout) at work.

But what is it exactly that causes job stress and burnout? Let’s find out.

What is burnout?

The WHO defined burnout as a “syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”, and listed the following signs as primary burnout symptoms:

  • Exhaustion or a lack of energy.
  • Reduced professional efficacy.

Stress itself is more difficult to define because it could be a range of issues.

Causes and signs of burnout and stress

The main causes of employee stress and burnout have changed in recent times. For instance, many employees are now working from home. While most people enjoy this flexible working arrangement, it does lead to certain problems.

While heavy workloads and conflicts with colleagues can cause stress, a fresh worry is the ‘always on’ culture. Remote workers are finding it difficult to separate their work and personal lives, meaning they’re working for longer than they should. This conundrum negatively affects employees’ lives outside of work, and in turn, leads to symptoms of burnout.

This is a basic health and safety issue. Employers need to ensure employees look after their occupational health and shut down their work laptop at the end of the day.

Support for your employees

Support for your employees may come in many forms.

One option is to offer an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which gives employees access to a confidential 24/7 helpline. EAP counsellors will assist employees with any problems they have without them having to approach either their employer or the health service.

It's also worth noting that immediate intervention is crucial when resolving a lot of mental health problems, including burnout.

Need advice on employee stress and burnout?

If you’re a Peninsula client, you can call our 24/7 helpline for instant, unlimited advice on what to do about employee stress and burnout.

Not a client? No problem.

You can still claim a free advice call with one of our experts today.

To speak to an expert now, call 0818 923 923.

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