Workplace burnout, stress management, burnout symptoms

Over time the workplace has become a more competitive environment. Employees are trying to stand out from their peers, and companies are pushing their employees to reach goals faster. Competition can indeed drive success, but it can also create negative environments and work stress.

Work stress has increased worldwide more than ever; employees are experiencing poor mental health and employee burnout. Employee burnout is becoming a serious issue in every workplace and needs more attention from employers.

Employers must recognise and prevent employee burnout before it’s too late. Hence the article will help employees, employers, and business leaders understand the seriousness of the topic and the actions that can be taken. Additionally, how it can lead to severe accidents and injuries at the workplace.

What is Employee Burnout?

According to the McKinsey study, one in four employees worldwide is experiencing burnout symptoms; in Asia, it is nearing one in three.

Employee burnout is a specific type of work stress where workers feel dissatisfied and exhausted due to the work or the environment. The exhaustion could be mental or physical, depending on the job.

Burnout can be due to overworking, being undervalued, lack of social engagement, management issues, a toxic environment, etc. Even just one of these causes can slowly build up to serious employee burnout.

Employers must recognise and help prevent employee burnout to benefit their staff and themselves. Burnout can lead to poor work performance, unmotivated employees, and disconnecting from the work and company.

How to Prevent Employee Burnout?

Recognise Burnout 

Recognising burnout quickly should be the first step to helping your employees and the company. True employee burnout is more than feeling tired due to an intense project and needing a break. Employee burnout is a serious stress problem that causes exhaustion, frustration and can affect an employee’s personal life.

prevent employee burnout, mental health, workplace burnout

Companies should understand burnout symptoms to take action at the right time. Employers can recognise employee burnout through behaviour change, such as regular sickness, isolation, constant mistakes, poor performance or any signs of sudden unexplainable change. 

Any employee can be affected by work stress and burnout. Recognising when employees aren’t themselves can be one of the best ways to prevent employee burnout and understand what has caused them stress.

Communicate Often – Monthly Catchups  

Communication can be vital to preventing employee burnout. Monthly communication can help understand how employees are doing mentally and if the workload is not too much. Most employees will appreciate the action and quickly open up if things bother them. 

Often lack of communication can cause employees to burnout, as they do not feel heard and do not know who and how to express their stress. Employers having a one-to-one meeting when they notice behaviour change can go a long way.

With proper communication and feedback, managers can set new fitting goals, employees feel heard, and work stress can be highly reduced. Employers will never know the problems or prevent burnout if they do not listen.

Respect Work & Life Boundaries 

healthy work-life balance - work stress

Employees maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial to prevent employee burnout. Employees and, importantly, employers must respect and facilitate this balance. Employers should not expect their employees to work overtime or on the weekends unless they are being paid for it.

When there is a balance, employees feel more motivated and productive and will finish their work on time. Therefore balance is essential for both employees and employers to reach goals and develop the company.

When companies respect their employees, employees automatically respect the firm and want to do better with the time they work.

Create Employee Burnout Awareness 

Many employees, even after recognising employee burnout symptoms, do not actually understand and know what action to take to recover or who to talk to. Companies can create burnout awareness and seminars about burnout.

The education can teach employees and employers about the stages of burnout and how to prevent it even before it occurs. Additionally, companies can provide counselling, stress management classes, or employee assistance services. 

The awareness allows employees to be more comfortable talking about the issue and getting help before it affects their lives. Companies creating awareness will also increase employee retention and satisfaction as they will know they are taken care of no matter what the issue.

Offer Recovery Time and Breaks – (Mental Health Days)

One of the best ways to prevent employee burnout is by taking breaks and reducing work stress. When employers notice their employees are close to burnout: they must request them to take breaks and recover before finishing the tasks.

mental health day - take a day off

Recovery time and breaks can include breaks every 30 minutes to mental days off. Even one day to a week of no work stress can make a huge difference. Mental health days have great benefits and should be supported (to an extent).

Companies can also provide flexitime, where employees can complete their work according to their personal schedules. Offering such factors reduces the risks of burnout and helps everyone.

Promote Using Annual Leave

Every company provides some annual leave, but very few check how many days are taken and if any are taken. A good amount of annual leave is crucial to employees to allow them to rest often. Annual leave will enable employees to take a well-deserved break from the stresses and demands of working life.

Companies should encourage employees to use their leave and come back refreshed. The employer can also ensure the company will take care of their tasks, and they will not have to return to a pile of work.

The additional leave supports a healthy work-life balance that each employee should have and helps prevent employee burnout throughout the year.

Motivate Social Engagement 

A workplace is primarily to work, but also needs to have social factors. It has been proven many times social engagement can enhance employee wellness. Employees are more excited to come to work when they know they have friends at the workplace and can occasionally take a break with a fun conversation.

how to recover from burnout - work pressure - employee burnout

Employees who feel lonely at work and only focus on their work are at a higher risk of burnout. Social engagement can drastically reduce chances and prevent employee burnout. Social interactions also increase teamwork productivity and result in successful outcomes. 

Employers should motivate these interactions and occasionally plan team outings to increase team building and social engagement.

Reward Hard Work 

Lastly, a possible way to prevent employee burnout is by rewarding employees for their hard work. At times burnout occurs when they feel unvalued, and employers are responsible for making each employee feel appreciated.

Companies can motivate employees with bonuses, raises and gifts when reaching goals. Additionally, each employee must be treated equally and respected at the workplace.

Can Employee Burnout Result in Workplace Injuries?

Employee burnout is as serious as a work injury or illness. Unfortunately, burnout is not yet considered a workplace injury; however, employee burnout can lead to work accidents and injuries.

Employee burnout can distract and disconnect employees from their jobs and simple tasks, which can lead to negligence and accidents. Employer will be liable for any work injury at the workplace or while on duty.

For example, a businessman overworked is going to a meeting and is mentally exhausted and frustrated, without thinking, crosses a red light, which results in a road accident. The accident and injury will still be considered a work injury, which was mainly due to employee burnout. Such cases could occur anywhere, such as construction sites, offices and more. 

Hence employers need to make sure they have high-quality employee compensation insurance. The insurance will cover the medical compensation costs related to most work injuries. Employee compensation insurance can help the employee recover with no money stress and additionally recover from burnout too.

Burnout can lead to a large number of injuries due to the symptoms, and employees need to be aware of them. Preventing employee burnout can prevent injuries.


To Learn More about employee compensation insurance and get the best coverage for your employees in Hong Kong and Asia, contact Red Asia Insurance.