Home Working Burnout

Homeworking through the pandemic

A survey* conducted in December 2020 suggested that 70% of home workers had experienced burnout symptoms. As we have recently entered a new lockdown, this number is likely to rise with more people working from home again at a time of year when we generally feel low due to seasonal adjustment.

In 2019, the World Health Organisation defined workplace burnout as an occupational phenomenon including it in the 11th revision of the International Classification of diseases (ICD-11), this was even before the coronavirus pandemic.*


Burn-out is defined in ICD-11 as follows:

Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterised by three dimensions:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion.
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
  • reduced professional efficacy.

Generally, there are 3 types of burnout signs including emotional, physical and behavioural. Here are a few example

Emotional signs Physical signs Behavioural signs
Depression Fatigue Increased Absenteeism
Anger Frequent illness Social withdrawal
Detachment Body aches / headaches Poor performance
Lack of motivation Weight gain / loss Mistakes
Anxiety Feeling of dread Irritability
Lack of concentration Stomach issues Become apathetic

Burnout can also have a damaging effect on businesses turnover through lost productivity, low engagement, increased incidents and increased mistakes. As a business owner/manager and line manager it is important to recognise early burnout signs by being observant and paying attention to your work force. Once burnout has been recognised, usually through discussion, it is time to act and provide the relevant support needed by the employee or worker.

As burnout is hard to spot, many people don’t recognise it straight away, so it is important that conversations and interactions with the workforce are regular. It is important that the employee or worker feels safe and comfortable when asking for help when they have recognised there could be a problem or are showing signs of burnout.

We have put together an Employee Burnout assessment that can be downloaded below to help your team identify any signs of burnout. Please feel free to download the assessment with no catch or obligation. We are also available to discuss your business’ unique circumstances and needs.

Click here to download Burnout cause and effect chart

References: * learnmore.monster.com * who.int  

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