Job Burnout (Part 2) – The effects of job burnout on individuals and businesses

Burnout is an individual experience and while some people may cope well and eventually recover, others do not abd dive deep into depression, anger and ill health because the body’s immune system becomes weakened making you vulnerabke to sickness.

Job burnout primarily affects job performance and physical/mental health.

Job performance: Remember Caroline in my previous post? Can you remember her detachment from certain aspects of her job and the resultant ineffectiveness in her tasks? Well job performance has direct impact on the individual and the business as a whole. For the individual, there is absenteeism, presenteeism and thoughts of leaving the job. 

Absenteeism is when one decides to take time off work usually due to illness or “pretend” illness. Presenteeism is when one comes into work (possibly feeling ill) and does literally nothing. They are just present but are neither effective nor productive. Presenteeism is more common than employers realize. So what are the effects of presenteeism and absenteeism on a business? Let’s think deeply about this.

If you decide not to get your job done then it means you fail to meet targets. With low job performance comes reduced income for businesses and many businesses fail to realize the impact the wellbeing of their employees have on their turnover.  As a business, you have low productivity; loss rather than profit; high staff turnover due to having to always employ when your staff leave or decide to fall sick; and high recruitment costs to consider. As a business, you record less profit and maybe more losses.

Need I say more?

Health: job burnout is usually as a result of stress. Remember the exhaustion component of job burnout mentioned in my previous article? Stress has negative effects on one’s mental health such as anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Anxiety and depression are the most common, affects 1 in 10 people and disturbs ones ability to get on with his/her life (according to the mental health foundation, UK).

Apart from this, most people who experience burnout resort to using drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol abuse affect physical and mental wellbeing. With physical wellbeing, you experience changes in your appetite and sleep pattern; weight loss; bad smells from your body, breath and clothing; deterioration in your personal hygiene; personality change and mood swings; appearing lethargic and sometimes fearful or paranoid for no reason.

I mentioned earlier that burnout brings out decreased immunity making the body vulnerable to illness like cold and flu. Sometimes you can get chest pains and unexplained headaches. I have been there. I have had ridiculous chest pain that I thought I was having a heart attack. To keep my samity and health, I had to leave a job that will draining me physically and mentally.

If you care about performing well at work or having healthy employees who can help increase productivity, then watch check out for my next post on how to prevent job burnout the Professor Ike way!