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Understanding Burnout

Posted By Fiona Gray  
14:02 PM

Most people go through periods where they feel tired or unhappy at work or in their private lives. However, if your job leaves you feeling emotionally exhausted, beyond the point of caring, or unable to function normally you might be experiencing burnout.

Burnout is a common issue that can affect almost any job. A high level of burnout is related to a poor psychosocial work climate and a mismatch at work regarding values.

Research suggests that around 18% of people struggle with high levels of burnout, Lindblom et al, (2006). It's as if our energy at work is extinguished by prolonged stress, leaving us feeling emotionally drained, unmotivated and ineffective. It is usually caused by a build-up of stressful things happening internally and externally.

You might feel exhausted and drained emotionally, and become more distant and disinterested or detached from your work. You might also find it difficult to cope with the demands of your job and lose interest in your colleagues, customers and activities outside work.

You might also feel increasingly negative, cynical or have a pessimistic attitude towards work, and feel less productive, enthusiastic or effective in your role. 

Physical symptoms include struggling to concentrate, remember things or have the ability to pay attention. It can impact, mood, sleep and overall health.


Lindblom, K. M., Linton, S. J., Fedeli, C., & Ing-Liss Bryngelsson. (2006). Burnout in the working population: Relations to psychosocial work factors. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 13(1), 51-9. doi: