The WHO has recognized burnout syndrome as a mental condition. Thanks to this new classification, the visibility of this disorder will be greater thus enabling better management of sick leave. However, until the year 2022, the new classification that recognizes the occupational burnout as a mental disorder will not come into force.

What is burnout syndrome?

Burnout syndrome is a mental disorder which is known as occupational burnout. It is a condition that has a clear emotional origin and develops in the work environment. A combination of the worker’s pace of life and the anxiety caused by the job itself are the main triggers for this disorder.

Occupational depression is one of the clearest symptoms of burnout syndrome. In addition, there is a curious feature regarding this disorder, since it is usually suffered by those who have chosen their profession in a vocational way and not out of obligation. Therefore, occupational burnout is common in sectors such as healthcare, science and education.

When the disorder begins to appear, the employee shows the first signs in the work environment but, gradually, the syndrome takes over other areas of life, until it becomes an active part of the family and social life of the affected person.

Types of disorders

  • Active Burnout Syndrome: the worker is active, both at work and outside. They maintain good relationships outside the profession.
  • Passive Burnout Syndrome: Apathy is one of the symptoms in this case. The employee shows signs of negativity in all areas of their life.

Symptoms of burnout syndrome

  • Feeling of despondency and helplessness in the work environment.
  • Lack of energy at work.
  • Fall in job performance, as a result of not obtaining the expected results. This frustrates and creates feelings of failure.
  • Irritation, negativity, distancing in the workplace.
  • Lack of collaboration with co-workers.
  • Problems with concentration at work.
  • Inability to achieve anything, which generates a feeling of being overwhelmed.
  • Constant stress and nervousness.
  • Increased aggressiveness.
  • Physical discomfort, such as a headache.
  • Below normal performance.
  • Communication problems in the work environment.
  • Tachycardia and anxiety.

Causes of burnout syndrome

The appearance of the first symptoms of burnout is usually preceded by some very specific causes, which develop in the workplace:

  • Excessive stress levels.
  • Excess workload.
  • Lack of autonomy to act at work.
  • Poor job relationships.
  • Few training resources in the workplace that enable the tasks to be carried out successfully and efficiently.
  • Usually, the burnt-out worker does not receive enough support in their personal life.
  • Working hours that are too long are also the cause of these types of disorders.
  • Lack of resources for successfully performing each task.

Risk factors for burnout worker syndrome

High job expectations

It is normal for each worker to develop expectations in their job position, aimed at promoting professional development. A clear feature of burnout syndrome is the development of high, almost unattainable, expectations. In fact, the expectations can be so high that, when analysed with perspective, it is easy to see that they are impossible to achieve.

This situation promotes the development of the symptoms of this disorder such as anxiety. The worker becomes frustrated realising that they will not achieve everything they have set out to do.

Personality traits

Insecure people, who show a certain dependence on their work and personal environment, are more likely to suffer from burnout syndrome. The personality of the worker, therefore, is influential in the development of symptoms compatible with this mental disorder.

Lack of organization

A clear risk factor for developing burned-out worker syndrome is a defect in the labour framework at the organizational level. This often happens due to lack of time and work overload. The consequence is an increase in excessive work, which is impossible to organize and categorize.

Prevention and diagnosis of Burnout

To prevent burnout syndrome, measures must be taken in the company itself, since the work environment is the most critical in these cases. The company must have the necessary tools to analyse stressful situations in its workers.

In addition, employees must be provided with all the tools they need to perform their role successfully. Setting up and running quality training programs is an influential factor in the prevention of this type of disorder.

The employee must also do their part to prevent Burnout syndrome. Maintaining a collaborative attitude in the company and with co-workers is essential.

It is also important to have realistic job expectations, which do not lead to increased stress at work. The employee must maintain their objectives and ambitions, but also stay calm.

In order to carry out a true diagnosis of burnout syndrome, it is very important to be aware of the symptoms suffered by the worker. In addition, it is also essential that the person responsible for the diagnosis knows the real situation in the company, in order to be able to make a quality judgement.

At Melt Group we are aware of all pathologies associated with the workplace. From our experience in Human Resources, we actively work with companies to find the right candidates for each job position. In this way, we avoid choosing personnel who are vulnerable to suffering pathologies such as burnout syndrome. Contact Melt Group and enjoy the benefits of our experience in your company.

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