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Burnout intensifies feelings of being under pressure at work, study reveals

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Stressed at work? Blame it on burnout! Study finds the feelings of exhaustion and self-doubt intensify ideas of being under pressure

  • Researchers analyzed 48 different studies  of burnout and work stress
  • The 26,319 participants noted symptoms of burnout that led to being stressed
  • This reveals that the two are mutually reinforcing and create a viscous circle 
  • Burnout has a greater impact on stress than stress does on brunout

Stress is known to lead to burnout in the workplace, but a new study finds that the two are mutually reinforcing.

However, burnout has been identified as having a greater impact on work stress and because the two strengthen each other, they create a viscous circle.

A team from the University of Mainz says burnout develops gradually, but leads to work being seen more and more stressful.

This includes ideas that the amount time working is too much to there is not enough hours in the day and the stress is too overwhelming to push through.

Although researchers predicted they would observe an effect of burnout on work stress, the were surprised by the strength of the effect.

Stress is known to lead to burnout in the workplace, but a new study finds that the two are mutually reinforcing. However, burnout has been identified as having a greater impact on work stress and because the two strengthen each other, they create a viscous circle

Those who experience burnout feel exhausted, self-doubt and their performance dwindles.

Professor Christian Dormann of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), said: ‘The most important burnout symptom is the feeling of total exhaustion—to the extent that it cannot be remedied by normal recovery phases of an evening, a weekend, or even a vacation.’

The team analyzed 48 studies about burn out and stress that in totaled to 26,319 individual participants.

The studies were conducted from 1986 to 2019 in a number of countries with the average age at about 42 years old and 44 percent of the respondents were men.

Although researchers predicted they would observe an effect of burnout on work stress, the were surprised by the strength of the effect. Researchers say the effect of burnout can be reduced if employees have more control over their own work and have support from their colleagues and superiors

The team found that respondents noted common symptoms of burnout that led to feeling stressed and ultimately hindered performance.

Dr. Christina Guthier said: ‘When exhausted, the ability to cope with stress usually decreases. As a result, even smaller tasks can be perceived as significantly more strenuous.’

‘We expected an effect of burnout on work stress; the strength of the effect was very surprising.’

However, the team says the effect of burnout can be reduced if employees have more control over their own work and have support from their colleagues and superiors.

Dorman and Guthier suggest that the place to start is with management behavior.

‘Employees should have the opportunity to give feedback on their work stress at any time and be appreciated,’ the team shared.

Another study, conducted in September, found that the average work gets ‘career burnout’ at age 32.

The study, commissioned by The Office Group, asked 2,000 people about their feelings towards work and what factors may play into their exhaustion.

Approximately 59 percent of the respondents blamed it on working long of hours, noting the increase started when they transitioned to remote employment due to coronavirus lockdowns – some have worked an extra 59 hours in five months.

Other responses include not taking enough days off, pressure to complete more tasks and just under half of the participants dealing with burnout have quit their job because of the exhaustion.

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