Signs Of Burnout At Work:

If you feel stressed, and are struggling to stay on task at work, you may be close to work burnout or could be experiencing it full-blown. Here we’ll discuss work burnout and early signs of burnout at work.

Work burnout is not uncommon. In fact, many people struggle with workplace stress and end up burning themselves out. Others work a multitude of jobs; or mentally and physically demanding jobs, at which they eventually succumb to some sort of burnout.

Take the healthcare professional right now for instance. Not only are they trying to deal with there everyday run of the mill sick people, but now there is a worldwide pandemic, and the stressors from COVID-19.  

top signs of burnout at work. covid 19

 Nurses and medical staff are seeing a whole new type of infectious process that they have to deal with on a daily basis. On top of that, fearing for there own well-being and safety as just recently we have started to vaccinate them.

In addition, they are working overtime, longer rotations (then the already long 12-hr shifts), experiencing unit and hospital shortages due to staff going out with COVID themselves. It’s a real struggle!

In this post, we’ll be going over the top signs of burnout at work. Knowing these signs will help you stay aware, and prevent you from pushing yourself too far in the workplace, if possible.

In truth, burnout may not only have consequences for your career, but also your overall health. The symptoms of work burnout can affect your mental well-being and your physical health. You’ll want to identify these symptoms and address them sooner, rather then later!

Learn how to manage and deal with stress in the workplace, for it’s up to you to improve your health!


What Is Burnout?

what is work burnout deadlines

 Before we talk about the signs of burnout, let’s define what burnout at work is. Burnout, is a relatively new term (1970’s) and is not an actual diagnoses. 

However, even the Word Health Organization (WHO), states it as an occupational phenomenon. Furthermore, it’s included in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Disease (ICD-11). Many experts, define it as a loss of motivation and energy that results in a failure to achieve your work goals.

In addition, people with burnout typically experience exhaustion, diminished working skills/capacity, and negative thinking patterns. These three signs usually appear with work burnout. However, other signs become evident, as well. We’ll talk more about those signs in the next section.

On the whole, when discussing work burnout (in the short term) is usually not critical to our health and job. However, if this condition progresses for long periods of time, it can be damaging to your health, well-being, and job status.

Top Signs Of Burnout At Work:

There are certainly many more signs of burnout then we’ll get to mentioning here. However, we’ll discuss some of the more common signs. It’s important to recognize these signs as early as possible and get help if need be.

Furthermore, have an understanding that you’re not alone. You’re not the only one suffering, nor the only one scared, or potentially unsure of where to turn.

work burnout morning tired hard to wake up in the morning

It’s Hard For You To Go To Work In The Morning:

 One of the biggest signs of work burnout is difficulty getting to your job. Someone who has trouble getting to work could experience a host of challenges during the morning. You might have a hard time waking up when your alarm clock rings. You could also have trouble doing simple tasks like brushing your teeth, getting dressed, or preparing breakfast.

In short, mornings are a challenge and you dread going to your job. This is pretty typical for people with work burnout. In fact, you may think about how much you don’t want to go to your job the entire time you are preparing to leave.

As a result, your mornings become a source of frustration. You might even end up getting to work late. You’re preoccupied and ruminate over how little motivation you have to actually step-foot, outside your door. You start experiencing a desire to call-out more then usual. Thus, feeling that if you call out your mentality may improve.

Then, it becomes vital for you to get this under control. Consequently, you may try remedies such as simple relaxation techniques, other physical or mental preparation, and interventions!


having trouble completing tasks

You Have Trouble Concentrating On Work-Related Tasks:

 Workplace burnout does not stop once you go to work. We have all experienced mornings where we don’t want to go in. However, once at work these feelings typical diminish, at least somewhat.

Typically, people with burnout will experience their burnout most intensely at the place they are employed. At work, you’ll have a hard time concentrating on work related tasks. Instead of doing work, you might look at your watch or phone to check the time. Oftentimes, thinking more about the conclusion of your shift, then any task before you.

You’ll find yourself overly stressed out and frustrated with your job, even on a “not so busy day”. You will likely have issues concentrating on even small tasks. For example, answering emails, to following ordinary instructions from a person in-charge. This can lead to further frustration until it starts to spin out of control even further, effecting your health.

Truly, more signs it’s time to take a step back. Maybe try your hand in alternative stress reducing techniques, like yogamassage, and/or meditation. Try alternative medicine like aromatherapy or essential oils. With an overall goal of stopping this cascading downward spiral, helping you cope with life and your job in a more positive way.

You Feel Sickly Or Low Energy Most Days:

low energy at work

 Having work burnout is exhausting. Thinking about how much you hate your job or how much you don’t want to work tomorrow, is draining. When stressed about your job and how much you dread being there, believe it or not, takes up a ton of mental energy. Consequently, it becomes harder to stay upbeat and feel healthy.

Burnout often leads to more stress, and this can cause you to feel weak and sick. Stress is not just a mental force, though. Stress releases potent chemicals in the bloodstream. When you’re stressed out for days on end, your body starts to break down and fatigue more easily.

Oftentimes, you’ll feel sickly or low energy most days of the week. On your days off you may find yourself exhausted as well, sleeping in. Then, having difficulty getting things done you would normally do on days off. Thus, leading to more stress. Truly, it’s a viscous cycle. 

The first step is to recognize it, then try and manage workplace burnout symptoms if possible. This can come from professional help or alternative forms of relaxation/therapy.


emotional exhaustion at work

You Experience Emotional Exhaustion:

 Exhaustion from burnout is not just physical, it can also be experienced emotionally. At work and home, you feel emotionally exhausted and empty. This, because burnout leaves you fatigued. Consequently, leading to an inability to cope with life circumstances.

Relationships at home and at work may suffer. For instance, your temper could be shorter. You may get angry at coworkers and family members over small insignificant things. In addition, your ability to experience happiness and pleasure will diminish during burnout. In short, it is harder to experience normal and healthy emotional states.

This is another reason it’s imperative you cope and manage these stressors at work in whatever ways yourcan!

You Are Not Getting Along With Co-Workers:

have trouble getting along with co-workers

Another burnout indicator is related to the last sign. When you’re emotionally and physically exhausted, your ability to be friendly and connect with co-workers won’t be as strong. With less of an ability to control your emotions, it is easier to get annoyed with your peers, further isolating yourself.

Truthfully, coworkers may not realize that you are burned out. Even if they know that you are struggling at work, they may not be very happy with this new attitude. In fact, some of your fellow workers might get frustrated themselves, particularly if they are picking up your slack.

Not every person is interested in helping one another, and that’s just the truth. Think about the current people you work with. Are there some that you know would give the shirt off their backs? Some that don’t care? In addition, some that care, but have a full plate as well, potentially missing the signs of your burnout.

You Aren’t Working To The Same Standards:

your standards of work decline

 This next sign is one of the most obvious signs of work burnout. When you aren’t motivated to work and don’t want to be at your workplace, the quality of your work will suffer. This is just inevitable with any type of burnout.

People who are exhausted and tired of their job won’t perform to the same standards as people who are excited and happy to be at work.

If you notice a big drop off in the quality of your work, there could be something wrong. Again, low quality work is one of the easiest ways to spot your own burnout. Even if you don’t notice this sign yourself, someone is likely to let you know that you are not performing well in your role.

One survey of 1,000 US professionals found that 9/10 of those professionals stated stress negatively impacts there quality of work. In addition, over 80%, answered that burnout effects their personal relationships.

Again, these signs can cause your symptoms to spiral even faster. It’s important to work on yourself, and take a step back. Reach out to support groups if need be. Let someone close to you know that you need help, or seek expert medical advice on your situation. 

It’s okay to talk to someone, getting out your emotions can actually help relieve stress and frustration. 


You Hate Your Job or Your Start Thinking Negatively About It:

Finally, the last sign of work burnout, that you want to be on the lookout for, is negative thoughts surrounding your job. Some people with work burnout will flat out hate their job. They might spend minutes if not hours of their day thinking about how much they want to leave their job, and may even try.

However, not everyone reacts this way. In fact, some people may want to find passion again about what they do, but find it unbelievably difficult to motivate themselves, once again. Negative thoughts might include:

  • thinking about how stressed out you are,
  • wishing that your job wasn’t so hard,
  • or thinking that you have no purpose in your current position.


Final Thoughts!

Our final thought today is a tough one. Work burnout is hard, and it’s a hard process to not only spot, but it’s a hard process to get through, for many people. Oftentimes, letting yourself go to far, results in loss of job or at least jeopardizing a job. Sadly, you can also hurt interpersonal, or professional relationships.

Don’t just take the advice “suck it up” or “you’ll get through it”. Do something about it! Reach out to people. Ask for help, or join online support groups and talk. Help you, by helping yourself. 

Please feel free to share thoughts and ways your have managed or coped with workplace burnout here, through comments in our blog section below!