Chances are, if you're currently working, or have been in the workforce ever, you've felt burnout. It's usually pretty easy to spot. Burnout is more than just a general displeasure or work related stress. You can feel burnout deep in your bones, as it will likely permeate your work environment. While we already know that workplace burnout is very real, it has now been confirmed by the World Health Organization. They are now recognizing it as a diagnosible condition, much to the relief of many.
That's right, you can now have a doctor diagnose you with work related burnout. Burnout isn't a new concept, it was formally studied for the first time in 1974. But it's taken time to pinpoint the exactness of what makes it burnout. Because it's way more than simply working too much. There are a handful of clear characteristics that differentiate between working too much and actual burnout. Exhaustion is definitely a defining characteristic. Depersonalization, where you are emotionally removed from both your job and those around you, is another.
If you're showing any of the following symptoms, you can actually be diagnosed with work related burnout.
- Energy depletion or exhaustion
- Distancing yourself mentally from your job, or negative or cynical feelings about your job
- Less effectiveness at work
The new WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines, burnout is defined as an "occupational phenomenon" which is also "resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed."
Unsurprisingly, burnout is actually quite common. A recent study of HR professionals show that nearly half of them believe 20 to 50 percent of workplace turn over is due to burnout. People who have the luxury of looking for a new job certainly will if they're experiencing workplace burnout.
But now that we know burnout in the workplace is a real thing, what are the causes? The Mayo Clinic says there are multiple factors that contribute to it. Some of those include not being able to control your schedule, workload management or lack thereof, dysfunctional workplace dynamics, and lack of social support. Work/life imbalance is also a factor. Along those lines, parental burnout is a very real thing, and very similar to workplace burnout.
Hopefully now that there are clear guidelines about workplace burnout, companies will take notice. Because it's not good for our mental or physical health.