Have Workers’ Burnout? These Are The Symptoms & Signs Of Burnout At Work

Do you wish to know more about the symptoms of burnout at work?

In that case, keep on reading!

For everyone feeling burnout at work, this article will help you learn more about the signs and the symptoms of this health condition. Find out how burnout exhaustion was influenced by working from home and the pandemic. Also, read about high burnout jobs and how to achieve work-life balance.

What Is Workers’ Burnout?

While burnout is a relatively new phenomenon, even the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes it as a type of “occupational phenomenon disease”. The term was coined by Herbert Freudenberger in his book Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement, where he defined it as a lack of “motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”

What Is Workers' Burnout?

Moreover, WHO does not recognize it as a medical condition, but a syndrome resulting from unsuccessfully managed chronic workplace stress. It can affect both the physical and mental health of workers.

12 Symptoms & Signs Of Job Burnout

It is important to recognize the signs of burnout at work, which will be the first step towards treating this disease and feeling better. While connected to stress at the workplace, here are some of the signs employees might be suffering from burnout:

  • feeling critical or cynical at work
  • lack of energy or feeling productive
  • feeling impatient or irritable
  • lack of motivation to work
  • inability to stay concentrated
  • problems with bowels, stomachache, and headache
  • not feeling satisfaction with job achievements
  • unable to cope, emotionally drained

Besides those signs that an employee might be experiencing burnout, they are usually also feeling the following work burnout symptoms:

  • feeling under a lot of stress
  • fatigue and/or insomnia
  • feeling sad, angry, irritable
  • being vulnerable to illnesses
12 Symptoms & Signs Of Job Burnout

The above-mentioned symptoms can usually occur when an employee is not successfully managing the burnout at work. Besides that, not treating this condition can lead to more serious and complicated illnesses and conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, and even type 2 diabetes. This is why dealing with and treating overwork exhaustion symptoms is very crucial for the health of workers.

What Causes Work Stress And Burnout?

Many factors can contribute to job stress and burnout, and some are very individual, such as personality traits. However, there are also a lot of factors connected to work that will cause or amplify the feeling of burnout from work.

What Causes Work Stress And Burnout?
  1. No control over the workload, work assignments, or schedule
  2. The need for extreme activities to stay focused on chaotic or monotonous work
  3. Isolation and no social support at work and/or in life
  4. Work-life imbalance
  5. Unfriendly or unfair workplace treatment
  6. Working in helping sectors, such as social work or health care
  7. Working long hours with a heavy workload

3 Types Of Burnout

1. Overload Burnout

Type of burnout associated with individuals who are overworking at an alarming pace just to amount success, recognition, or financial security.

2. Under-challenged Burnout

The lack of challenging work can result in burnout, just like it is the case with heavy workloads. Employees will feel disconnected and lose interest if they do not feel engaged and stimulated by the work they do.

3. Neglect Burnout

When employees feel neglected, they won’t see the purpose of work and won’t be able to stay engaged with it.

3 Types Of Burnout

Remote Working Burnout & The Pandemic

Work burnout does not only happen in corporate offices. More than that, it is very well associated with remote workers. Remote working burnout is on the rise, influenced by the global pandemic that has sent many employees to work from home without any clear instructions on how to adjust to the “new normal” – work from home (WFH).

Work Burnout During The Pandemic

Now, almost two years later, many employees are still working from home. As the pandemic progressed, so have the feelings and consequences of work burnout. The stress of work, combined with the worry for our health, makes employees feel even more fatigued, which contributes to the feeling of burnout at work.

Work Burnout During The Pandemic

How To Avoid Remote Work Burnout?

While the remote work burnout symptoms are pretty much the same as workplace burnout symptoms, there are some steps that employees can take to avoid this type of work-related stress. For example, make time for non-work-related activities, as it is very dangerous to spend the whole day on work tasks. Likewise, it is important to establish a schedule to follow, with enough breaks, and to only set realistic goals and to-do lists, with larger projects broken up into smaller tasks.

High Burnout Jobs

Some careers, professions, and industries usually have a higher rate of employees suffering from burnout. However, any profession is at potential risk of work burnout. Meanwhile, some professions are more subject to feeling burnout faster than others, such as:

High Burnout Jobs
  1. social workers
  2. designers
  3. retail workers
  4. health care workers
  5. law practitioners
  6. emergency responders
  7. business developers

Essential Worker Burnout

Some occupations are categorized as working in essential workplaces, such as hospitals, supermarkets, and others that provide essential services for the normal function of life and society. Even when the world had to stop once the pandemic started, these occupations has to carry on working as normal, while some even experienced heavier workloads, for example, health care workers (nurses, doctors, etc).

Essential Worker Burnout

With heavier workloads comes more stress and responsibility, while there seems to be no time to catch a break. During the pandemic, essential workers had to continue going to work despite the risks for their health, which has also increased the possibility of burnout.

Work-Life Balance And Burnout

One of the signs of burnout at work is work-life imbalance. If other aspects of one’s life are neglected due to work, it will lead to an unhealthy work-life imbalance. One of the main reasons employees experience burnout is because work takes up the majority of their time, meaning there is not enough time to dedicate to other life aspects. However, some tricks and tips can help keep the work-life balance healthy.

Work-Life Balance And Burnout

How To Handle & Manage Job Burnout?

While managing job burnout can be a challenge, there are still ways to succeed in handling this type of workplace stress.

How To Handle & Manage Job Burnout?
  1. Spend Time On Non-Work-Related Activities – besides work, employees should also find time to try other activities to feel more relaxed, like finding a hobby, doing exercise, meditating, practicing mindfulness, or other kinds of physical activity.
  2. Compromise With Supervisors – Try to reach an agreement with supervisors on expectations, goals, and other solutions.
  3. Look For Support – Whether it be at work or in private life, employees need to find support, someone they can talk to that will listen and try to understand the problem. Co-workers or friends can help workers cope this way.
  4. Sleep Well – To restore and protect one’s health, one has to get enough sleep. Sleeping also helps support the well-being of individuals.
  5. Change Of Position At Work – To put an end to burnout, some employees will have to look for a new job or change the position they occupy at their current workplace.
  6. Vacation And Regular Breaks – To stop feeling burnout, sometimes time off work will help, but only in the short run. However, it is recommended to take mental days off work and also schedule regular breaks to get enough rest while working.
  7. Organize & Prioritize – To stop feeling under a lot of stress and pressure, employees should make to-do lists and prioritize the tasks that need to be done sooner to feel more under control and organized.
  8. Talk To A Professional – If the stress and burnout are just amassing and getting worse, it is time to talk to a professional, as this can further jeopardize one’s life. Psychologists can be of great help here.


Once signs of burnout at work are known to employees, they can prepare for trying to eradicate the stress. The warning signs of burnout are very much connected to the well-being of employees. It is important to also know how to manage employees with mental health problems. For the quality of working from home and physical and mental well-being, there are also tips you can incorporate in setting up an office for maximum productivity.

Mateja is a journalist with a Master’s degree. After graduating in 2019, she started writing copies for various websites before she joined the OfficeNeedle team in 2021. So far, she has built relationships with industry leaders and experts in the field that help her focus on writing useful tips for businesses. She enjoys writing informative pieces and doing research on businesses, as well as conducting surveys. She hopes her tips and other types of posts can help you kickstart your own business and stay alert to better adapt to any changes in the field.