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Five important signs of employee burnout

Five important signs of employee burnout
2nd March 2020

Five important signs of employee burnout

Last year, the WHO added employee burnout to its list of official medical diagnoses. Characterised by extreme stress and exhaustion, burnout is tremendously harmful for employees. And as it often has a severe impact on job performance, it can also be harmful to the long-term success of your company.

Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to spot signs of burnout. Individually they can just look like a bad day or week, but together they point to something far more serious. Nevertheless, it is vital to be able to identify indicators as early as possible in order to manage and reduce the mental, emotional and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.

Here are some crucial signs of employee burnout you should look out for:


One of the primary signs of burnout is an increase in mistakes caused by a lack of concentration or ability to remember important things. If an employee starts making lots of errors or forgetting about important meetings or deadlines, this is a key sign they may be suffering from burnout.  


Although it’s normal to feel tired after a couple of long days or a particularly intensive week, extended emotional, mental and physical exhaustion hint at something much more serious.


Employees on the verge of a burnout may seem disconnected from their work and colleagues. This often indicates that stress and exhaustion have become overwhelming, and they are ‘checking out’ because they can’t handle the prolonged pressure.

Sickness and absenteeism

Employees suffering from burnout experience physical as well as mental symptoms, so they are likely to take more days off than usual. Similarly, when a person becomes physically exhausted, they are more likely to be vulnerable to colds and other viruses. If an employee starts succumbing to every cold going around this may be a sign of extreme burnout exhaustion. 


If a usually sociable and lively employee starts to become distant and no longer joins in with office chitchat or events, this can indicate that they are experiencing burnout and no longer have the physical or mental energy to engage socially. Isolation is a particularly important factor to consider with employees who are naturally more introverted, as it is not as easy to tell if they are isolating themselves. Make sure you identify your more introverted employees from the get-go, so you can tell if their behaviour changes at any point. 

Although there is no quick fix for employee burnout, understanding the signs and making the effort to keep an eye out for them is the first step to preventing it from occurring in the first place. By monitoring and checking in with your employees, you can reshape their working life and your entire company culture.

This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.

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