Burnout refers to a phenomenon where employees suffer a mix of physical and psychological symptoms due to a continued stress in the working environment.

According to the State of the Global Workplace 2022 report delivered by Gallup, only 21% of employees around the world are engaged at work and only 33% of employees are thriving in their wellbeing.

To start the study, there were three main questions. Is your work meaningful and rewarding? Do you think your live is going well? Do they feel hopeful about the future? Most employees answered no to these questions.

Besides these findings, Gallup found that stress, including worry, anger or sadness, among workers is peaking lately, preventing wellbeing. This situation is worse in South Asia. And in Europe, the 44% of people feel stress daily.

How burnout affects the business

Burnout happens for several reasons, although we can name the working conditions and the company’s culture as the main ones. Unrealistic work expectations, micromanagement, lack of leadership, and lack of support and unfair treatment have more impact in employees’ wellbeing that one can think.

Employees who experience burnout will be initially exhausted, chronically and continuously. But next, they will be unmotivated, disinterested, or uncommitted with their work. As a result, their performance will decrease.

But burnout isn’t only a personal issue. Employees’ burnout is harmful to the businesses and the countries. According to some researches, from lost productivity and turnover, we can be estimate costs of billions of euros; health care costs not included.

Companies with high burnout rates have endless decision-making processes, weak management, and a tendency to overload the most capable people with too much work. Therefore, a healthy culture and a good leadership can do more to reduce employees’ stress than anything else.

The effect of isolation

After two years of pandemic, we can now talk about the effect of isolation in burnout. Employees benefit from socializing with their peers and feel supported.

In hybrid or remote environments, leaders should make a conscious effort to take care of the emotional state of their people. Again, promoting the right culture and communication among the team is essential to cope with the situation and build resilience.

The response to burnout should be in the organization, not only in the individual. Of course, it can help if employees are educated to recognize the symptoms and take care, but, as leaders, the most important thing to do is taking care of the working conditions and revise if there’s something we should change.

An organizational approach can be more effective than all the combined individual initiatives, since this is not an individual issue but, in most of the cases, a product of the environment.