Burn-out is slowly emerging

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Signs of burnout are not always easy to spot from the outside. However, certain warning signals can make you prudish. © Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert / dpa-tmn

Burn-out doesn’t come suddenly. Instead, the symptoms continue to worsen until employees are completely burned out. What are the signs?

Berlin – The most important signs of burnout include exhaustion and dissatisfaction with one’s own performance. Employees feel drained, cannot switch off and ignore their need for relaxation. The German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) points this out in its magazine “Arbeit & Gesundheit” (issue 05/2021).

This is what a typical burnout process looks like

Burn-out is not suddenly there, but starts in a process in which the symptoms continue to intensify. The DGUV describes a typical process as follows: In the first phase, employees show great commitment and dedication to their job. Then they approach their performance limits and the first problems arise.

Nevertheless, those affected increase their performance yet again, but increasingly neglect their needs, such as taking breaks. The fourth phase is characterized by reduced performance. In return, the health problems are getting worse. Ultimately, there is complete emotional and psychological exhaustion.

Sharpen the eye for warning signs

It is therefore important that intervention is taken as early as possible, says the article. Otherwise, it can go so far that employees with burnout are no longer able to work and may have to go to inpatient treatment. Managers can intervene, for example, by adjusting working conditions.

Especially in the initial phases of burnout, it is difficult to recognize the signs from the outside. However, certain warning signals can make you prudish. These include, among other things, changes in personality, difficulty concentrating, frequent careless mistakes, a lot of unnecessary overtime or nervousness, aggressiveness, fear and declining commitment.

In order to prevent burnout in the company, it also helps to promote an open culture of discussion and, for example, to offer information events on the topic, according to the DGUV. dpa


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