• published on 2/19/2024
  • 3min

How to Deal with Burnout at Work

Burnout at work can make you feel overwhelmed, stressed and isolated. Heavy workloads, working long hours and not having a healthy work-life balance can all contribute to burnout.

How to Deal with Burnout at Work

Table of contents

1. What is burnout?

2. Causes of burnout

3. Take regular breaks

4. Practice self-care

5. Maintain a healthy work-life balance

6. Reach out for support

7. Make changes within the workplace

However, there are steps you can take to help you, including prioritising self-care, seeking support from others and separating your work life from your home life. Have a look at our guide for some information about how you can manage burnout in the workplace.

What is burnout?

In Microsoft’s 2022 World Trend Index Special Report, conducted by Edelman Data & Intelligence, nearly 50% of workers said that they have already suffered from burnout in the workplace.[1]

This highlights how prominent of an issue this is for employees, with some of the different signs of burnout to look out for including difficulty concentrating, irritableness, and fatigue.

It can have a significant impact on your daily life that makes work life challenging and stressful. The three main types of burnout associated with work are:

  • Overload burnout: where you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself and the workload and stress is becoming unmanageable.

  • Under-challenged burnout: where you feel unmotivated, bored or unnoticed within your role and this causes you to feel unhappy and like there is no career progression.

  • Neglect burnout: where you don’t feel like you’re able to do the role, or are not given the right skills or guidance to complete your responsibilities well.

Causes of burnout

Burnout can have many causes, depending on your personal situation. Examples of what can lead to burnout incorporate:

  • Difficulty maintaining work-life balance: if you have burnout, it might be harder for you to switch off after a busy day at work.

  • Not having enough support: when you don't receive enough guidance in the workplace from colleagues or your line manager, then this can cause symptoms of burnout.

  • Personal problems: you could also be experiencing issues in your your private life, such as money worries, relationship problems or illness.

  • Heavy workload: this can can leave you feeling like you are going to be unable to meet your deadlines and are not getting much workplace satisfaction.

Take regular breaks

Feeling pressure to meet deadlines and not fall behind with your workload can sometimes mean you don't take breaks during the day. However, having this time, whether its taking a walk outside, catching up with colleagues or simply taking a step away from your work area, can assist in relieving burnout.

After your break, you're able to come back to your tasks with a fresh perspective. This can increase your productivity and support you in reaching your workplace goals.

Additionally, chatting with co-workers helps you building friendships and mean you feel more settled. Having solid connections with your fellow employees can actually mean you look forward to going into work and are subsequently happier overall in your role.

Practice self-care

It can be challenging in our busy daily lives to find time for ourselves, as we are often focused on responsibilities, such as meeting deadlines at work, spending time with loved ones and staying on top of chores around the house.

However, having time for self-care is vital, as it gives you time to relax and unwind as well as enjoy activities that matter to you. Self-care can be anything you like to do, from reading a good book or undertaking physical exercise, to sitting down to watch your favourite TV show.

Another important form of self-care include ensuring you get enough sleep, which should be between 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults. This will leave you feeling less tired in the morning and with more energy to complete your work.

For some tips on how you can incorporate self-care into your everyday routine, have a read of our blog here.

Maintain a healthy work-life balance

Having a healthy-work life balance is one of the ways you can manage burnout. Working long hours, looking at your work emails outside of office hours and taking on excessive amounts of work can cause you to become overwhelmed and stressed.

It's important to set boundaries between your work life and personal life so you maintain a degree of separation. To ensure you follow this, switch your work phone and laptop off at the end of the day to avoid the urge to check them in your downtime.

Relaxing outside of working hours vital, where you can take part in fun activities and have quality time with family and friends. This will refresh you and allow your mind to focus on something other than the tasks still to be completed at work.

For more information about the benefits of having a good work-life balance, check out our dedicated blog here.

Reach out for support

If you’re feeling overstretched and struggling to cope with your workload, it can be a good idea talk to someone for support.

Discussing your problems with others can provide you with useful advice, and make you feel less alone. This could include confiding in a family member, friend, or a colleagues that you trust in your workplace.

It might also be wise to speak to your manager about your burnout. Though this may seem like a scary prospect, your boss is there to offer you support you and ensure you're happy at work. You could speak with them about taking some time off work to recover from your burnout if you feel you need it, allowing you to return to work once you feel better.

In some instances, seeking the help of a healthcare professional to discuss your symptoms is an option can be beneficial. They can provide you with advice and assist in dealing with the burnout.

Make changes within the workplace

When you have moment, take the opportunity to assess your job role to see what is causing your burnout. For example, are there any tasks that can be delegated to colleagues? Is your workload too much?

Once you have done with this, speak with your line manager and see what adjustments can be implemented within your role. They will be able to provide you with practical solutions to achieve this.

Another approach that may make you feel less burnt out is by having an organised workspace. To do this, try keeping your desk clear so that your belongings are always easily located, and that your calendar is organised with your meetings scheduled and crucial deadlines tracked.

To-do lists can also help you feel more prepared at work, giving you a sense of satisfaction when something is ticked off your list. Placing this somewhere you can always see it also means essential tasks remain at the front of your mind.