Workplace burnout is a particular type of work-related stress, it’s a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that may involve the person affected having a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.

Burnout often occurs and develops over a longer period, for example when your workload increases to a constant excessive level which is unsustainable. Perhaps you’re not receiving enough support or recognition, or you get to a stage where you don’t want to be doing what you’re doing anymore, and your values and aspirations no longer align with the business you are working for.

What can you do to recognise if an employee may be suffering from burnout?
Some of the potential signs include:

• Reduced efficiency, energy, and fatigue.
• Lowered levels of motivation and interest in work.
• General illness such as headaches or backache.
• Increase absenteeism and errors.
• Increased frustration, irritability or having a more negative or critical attitude.
• Suspiciousness and emotional detachment.

The impact of workplace burnout can of course be damaging to the person suffering in terms of their health and wellbeing, but also to your business in terms of morale and productivity and potentially increased absenteeism.

There are things you can proactively do as an employer to prevent burnout such as:

• Make sure your employees have a purpose, direction, and support. Ensure they feel valued to stay motivated and therefore productive. Regular check-ins, one to one’s, and performance reviews can help with this as it encourages honest feedback.

• Have a mental health policy! Encourage openness and communication around this topic so people are aware of signs and can recognise, support, and manage situations before they worsen or become too severe.

• Create a pleasant working environment, both physically in terms of your workspace – plenty of natural light, break out space, and in terms of company culture – encouraging communication, positivity, and openness.

• Encourage a healthy work-life balance – make sure people take a break and use their holiday, encourage healthy eating, and exercise which can help reduce stress and set boundaries for employees to make sure they switch off after working hours.

Employers need to create a work environment where employees feel happy and motivated but also able to recognise and address signs of burnout early on, to prevent it from developing and having a negative impact on their wellbeing and business. No one is immune to burnout, and in fact, it is often more common in the high performing, dedicated employees who want to shine and love what they do!

Anyone can become exhausted; and with the increasing levels of pressure and expectation in the modern workplace, it’s becoming even more common and therefore so important for employers to be aware of the signs. If you need help or guidance on any of the above, HR Revolution is here to help! Just get in touch, email us at!