9 out of 10 office workers have ‘burnout syndrome’… How to overcome?

It was found that 9 out of 10 Korean workers experienced burnout. According to a blind survey of 10,091 office workers last year, 89% said they had experienced burnout syndrome in the past year.  In May 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined burnout syndrome as ‘unmanaged chronic work stress’. Although it is not a medical disease, it is recognized as one of the occupational symptoms that must be properly known and managed. This article has covered the symptoms of burnout and how to overcome it.

Like burnt ashes… Burnout Meaning and Causes

Burn-out Syndrome is a symptom in which a person who has been immersed in work feels extremely physically and mentally fatigued and becomes lethargic, and is a term derived from burnt ashes. It was first used by the American psychoanalyst Herbert Freudenberger in his paper ‘Burnout of Staffs’. If the symptoms of extreme fatigue persist for more than 6 months even after getting enough rest, you may have a burnout.

The cause of burnout is work stress. Continuous overwork, time-pressed continuous work, and emotional labor while dealing with co-workers and customers are the main causes of burnout. Repeatedly experiencing a helpless situation at work can also lead to burnout. “Burnout syndrome often occurs when feelings of helplessness and work overload from irrational situations at work, inadequate compensation, and conflicts of opinion with superiors overlap,” said Dr.

Maybe me too? Burnout Syndrome Test

Me Too, Reason on Employee Burnout

If you have burnout syndrome, your physical strength is easily reduced, and a sense of psychological distance or cynical feelings about work increases. Decreased concentration and memory may reduce job efficiency. Other symptoms include

  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Severe anxiety
  • Indigestion
  • Palpitation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

If you suspect burnout, you may want to do a burnout test. The Department of Psychiatry at Seoul National University Hospital Gangnam Center presented the following 10 items for self-diagnosis of burnout.

I am emotionally exhausted from carrying out the task at hand. I get tired in the morning just thinking about going to work. I feel the mental burden and tension at work. I feel lethargic and tired when performing work. Interest in current work has decreased significantly. I am passive and defensive in doing my job. I am cynical about my job contribution. Enjoy food, medicine, alcohol, and pleasure to relieve stress. Recently, there is a lot of irritability and anxiety, and there is no time to spare. If you fall under three or more of these, you need to suspect burnout.

3 ways to overcome burnout

Here are three tips for overcoming burnout that mental health experts recommend.

Spot Signs of Burnout

First, you need to spot the signs of burnout and figure out how to deal with it. It is helpful to check and record your condition during working hours. If you think it’s a burnout, you need to change your work pattern. Examples include avoiding overtime, taking regular breaks, and finding a balance between work and daily life.

Restore Physical and Mental Health

Adequate sleep, adequate exercise, and maintaining a healthy diet are essential to recovering from physical health. There are several ways to restore mental health, such as taking regular breaks from work, acknowledging your accomplishments, and focusing on the positive aspects of your life. Physical and mental recovery can relieve work overload and help with burnout fatigue.

Organizational burnout management

An organizational approach is needed to prevent burnout as well as post-action. Beyond individual management, the chronic cause of burnout is often organizational culture.

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