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Is your job wearing you down? A guide to burnout syndrome in the workplace


Javier Fiz Pérez - published on 02/04/18

Workplace stress and burnout syndrome, though not the same, have many of the same causes.

Let’s look at some of the causes that can lead to burnout syndrome, especially when they are present continuously over long periods of time:

Job positions related to dealing with the public or with clients or customers

People who have job positions in which they have constant contact with clients or customers are, consequently, exposed to a large number of complaints, demands and petitions. This can create high levels of stress for these workers, and over the long term, it can end up affecting their behavior. In most cases, clients who are dissatisfied or unhappy with the service or product they have received are not overly pleasant to deal with, and this can end up “infecting” the worker’s behavior.

Workplace harassment

Being harassed by coworkers or superiors at the workplace can also favor the appearance of this syndrome. Workplace harassment, or mobbing, consists mainly of psychological abuse of the victim to destroy his self-esteem, often with the goal of making the victim quit the job of his own volition.

A high level of responsibility

Some job positions demand a high level of attention and concentration on the task at hand. The slightest error could have disastrous consequences. One example is the work of medical personnel (doctors, nurses, medical technicians, etc.), who often have patient’s lives in their hands. Practitioners of professions such as these are submitted to high levels of stress, and consequently are more susceptible to suffering from burnout syndrome.

Overlong work days or shifts

Another one of the causes of burnout is excessively long continuous periods of work. Jobs in which employees must remain at their post for 10, 12, or even 16 hours can drastically increase the possibility of suffering from this syndrome.

Very monotonous jobs

It may seem paradoxical, but boring, repetitive, or demotivating job positions can also cause burnout syndrome. When workers find nothing motivating about what they do, it causes frustration and stress. No one likes to spend hundreds of hours a month carrying out an activity that doesn’t motivate them at all and with which they don’t feel comfortable.

Workplace stress and burnout syndrome have many of the same causes. The factors presented here can be helpful for identifying the causes of stress in the workplace, making it possible to intervene preventively before stress becomes burnout.

Health and WellnessMental Health
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