How to Deal with Workplace Burnout

By Megan Marshall, Friday, October 21, 2022
Workplace Burnout Image 1
Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels

Achieving career goals is an exciting thing. And those accomplishments may come as a result of you working around the clock. You dedicate so much of your life to making a name for yourself within your business or industry at large. It feels incredibly empowering to reach those high points in your career. But as the months or years drag on, you might find yourself gradually losing motivation. Considering how much stock you have put into building yourself up at your job, this can be very concerning in regard to what your future holds. Finding a solution to workplace burnout is crucial to your overall career success.

What are the types of workplace burnout?

It is very common to experience burnout. In fact, a 2021 report by Indeed found that 67% of workers believe burnout worsened during the pandemic. Despite our lives having mostly gone back to normal by this point, the feelings that came from the past two years have lingered. Whether it started before, during, or after COVID-19 struck, you may be facing one of these three types of burnout.

Overload Burnout

When we typically think of workplace burnout, we think of overload burnout. This is when you are exhausted because you are working yourself too hard. You are trying to achieve success at an unsustainable pace. It does a number on your brain and body. The most common places where we see this happening are among those in professions revolving around helping others. That includes first responders and full-time caregivers. Of course, any professional who is pushing toward recognition and financial security is capable of feeling stretched too thin.

Under-Challenged Burnout

Over time, you might find that you are no longer motivated by your job and lose your passion. It may have simply become boring to you. This could be because you have achieved everything that you had hoped to. Yet, you feel like you are trapped in your position and either cannot grow or leave. On the other hand, under-challenged burnout might be due to you having gone unnoticed for all of the work that you have done. Continuously feeling under-appreciated can grow into disconnect and, eventually, resentment.

Neglect Burnout

Leadership plays a big role in whether employees succumb to workplace burnout. They should be the individuals who are making staff feel welcome at all times. It doesn’t matter whether an employee has been with a business for a few days or several years—they all deserve to have resources available to them. As a team member, if you are not being given what you need to succeed with tasks, you could lose the will to stay engaged. You feel as though nothing that you do would make a difference anyway.

Workplace Burnout Image 2

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What are the risk factors of workplace burnout?

Although everything with your job may seem great right now, it doesn’t mean that this will always be the case. Unfortunately, you can find yourself roped up in more than you bargained for with that job. This could leave you lacking in other aspects of your life. So, despite your previous dedication and engagement, you are now left dissatisfied. Here is why you might be experiencing burnout.

Job Expectations

Consider what you had believed your position to entail when you were hired. It may be the case that you are taking on a workload that far exceeds your expectations. Otherwise, you might be struggling through tasks that you weren’t even initially familiar with. While career growth and on-the-clock education are important, the lack of clarity about your job can certainly be discomforting. Having so much trust in you can feel exciting. But the pressure to achieve it all in short timeframes can push you beyond your limits, resulting in workplace burnout.

Work-Life Imbalance

When you start experiencing an abundance of stress, ask yourself… Has your life changed drastically since having started your job? Further, consider whether your life didn’t change until sometime after getting hired. For instance, it could be a promotion that sent you over the edge and left you feeling burnt out. Because you have expended so much energy trying to prove yourself in your career to get to this point, where things are continuing to not slow down, you may be missing out on personal memories. Keep in mind that your entire life shouldn’t revolve around your career.

Insufficient Support

In order to feel at home at your place of work, once again, you need to be provided with the right resources. One of these resources is support from your team. If you don’t have a positive relationship with the members of your team, you might find yourself with workplace burnout quicker. No one wants to work at a place where they have poor relationships. This will only serve to isolate you and increase your levels of stress. Note that you should also be connecting with your support system outside of your work environment. Your family and friends want to be there for you.

Workplace Burnout Image 4

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What are the effects of workplace burnout?

The consequences of burnout extend far beyond your business performance. It negatively impacts your innovation, relationships, and happiness. Many psychology professionals believe that burnout is exacerbated by members of business leadership not tackling the problem from the right angle. They aren’t taking the time to notice the root causes of the lack of productivity within their staff, which leads to harmful habits. Ask yourself whether you are enduring any of these consequences of workplace burnout.

Mental Health Issues

Do you feel disillusioned or cynical about work? Severe burnout has the potential to lead to mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Between the cases of reduced productivity due to anxiety and depression, the World Health Organization estimates that $1 trillion is spent each year. This means that the hit that your business can take from workplace burnout is major. Some companies offer mental health days to combat burnout. This is time off that is specifically designed to give employees a break from the rigors of their day-to-day. Offering this is a great way to show team members that their mental health is a priority.

Physical Health Issues

You may start feeling physically drained when you go into the workplace. Even when you go home for the night, you are left with overwhelming fatigue. It leaves you not wanting to do anything besides fitfully going to sleep and begrudgingly starting the cycle over again in the morning. You miss out on the benefits of physical activity, which is a great way to reduce stress. Instead, your physical health continues to deteriorate. There is the potential to develop a chronic illness during this time or let go of your hygiene.

Personal Consequences

Connecting with your own needs can be a struggle when you are dealing with workplace burnout. Think about the last time when you did something for yourself. Or, for that matter, for your family. Burnout takes a toll on both your professional and personal lives. By working to the exclusion of all else, you could lose important parts of yourself. What you seem to forget is that your personal identity is what landed you your job, to begin with. So, as you let the professional bleed into the personal, you relinquish any boundaries that you initially had in place.

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What are the solutions to workplace burnout?

In an Eagle Hill Consulting report, 36% of survey respondents reported that their organizations weren’t doing anything to help with workplace burnout. Is the leadership team at your business being proactive with employee satisfaction? If the answer is no, you need to be proactive in your own right. Start putting your personal life first and your career second. Here are some of the ways that you can conquer burnout, if you are determined not to quit your current job.

Cultivate Your Interests

Take up some hobbies that are a far cry away from your career. If you are in the tech industry, for instance, don’t revolve these hobbies around technology. There are plenty of opportunities to find yourself again, make yourself more well-rounded, and put work in the back of your mind when you are at home. Here are some hobbies that might fit your adjusted lifestyle, which should be based on your genuine potential interests:

  • Painting
  • Gardening
  • Journaling
  • Hiking
  • Yoga
  • Baking
  • Pottery
  • Reading
  • Dancing
  • Puzzles

Take Care of Yourself

When you are pulling long hours, you might find that you aren’t getting nearly enough sleep. Make time for it. Sleep is what restores your well-being, as well as helps to protect your health. You should also invest in healthier foods. Perhaps you have been missing homecooked meals because you simply grab something quick after you clock out for the day. The key nutrients that come from cleaning up your eating habits will help to maintain your blood pressure so that you aren’t at high risk for heart disease. Having a regular exercise routine that forces you to get up and move, beyond walking to and from your desk, will similarly help with this.

Share Your Concerns

Make sure that you are taking the time to examine your boundaries. If you aren’t even sure what those are anymore, have a heart-to-heart with someone who can guide you. This may be a parent, sibling, spouse, or best friend. It could even be a previous mentor. Tell them about your experience with workplace burnout and devise a plan to move past it together. Sharing your feelings is a sure way to relieve some of the pressure that comes with burnout. When you are bottling everything up, it only leads to greater frustration.


No one deserves to feel unhappy in their work environment. You won’t be able to put your best foot forward with daily tasks and, ultimately, you won’t feel fulfilled. As we move toward the end of 2022, take a step back and reevaluate. Write your New Year’s resolutions early so that you can start things off on a good note. Don’t just continue struggling with workplace burnout.

Posted in: How To, Small Business, WWW Learning Center

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