Burnout is a psychological syndrome emerging as a prolonged response to chronic inter- personal stressors at the workplace. The main characteristics of burnout are overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment from the job, and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. Exhaustion is described as wearing out, loss of energy, depletion, debilitation, and fatigue. Cynicism is described as negative or inappropriate attitudes towards clients, irritability, loss of idealism, and withdrawal. The inefficacy is described as reduced productivity or capability, low morale, and an inability to cope. Preventing burnout is crucial, because it may have serious consequences both for the employer and the employee.

The main risk factors of burnout are related to workload, control, reward, community, fairness, and values.

High workload

Work overload contributes to burnout by depleting the capacity of people to meet the demand of the job. When this kind of overload is a chronic job condition, there is little opportunity to rest, recover and restore balance.

Lack of control

There’s a bigger risk of burnout when the employees perceive a lack of autonomy while making decisions that affect their work.

Insufficient reward

Insufficient recognition and reward (whether financial, institutional, or social) increase people’s vulnerability to burnout, because it devalues both the work and workers, and it is closely associated with feelings of inefficacy.

Strained relationships at work

The interpersonal environment at work is very important. When there’s a lack of support and trust, then there is a greater risk of burnout.

Lack of fairness

Fairness is the extent to which decisions at work are perceived as being fair and equitable. When people are not being treated with the appropriate respect, cynicism, anger, and hostility are likely to arise.

Evaluate how many hours you work weekly and if your assignments match your motivation and competencies. Try to negotiate work conditions with your colleagues and the management. Sometimes, even small steps help – for example, taking more time to rest or delegating some of the assignments or a project.

Supportive relationships

Try to find support from your colleagues and people who are close to you. If there are unresolved conflicts at work then evaluate if there’s a way of solving them. If necessary, get help from your company’s HR representative, a coach, or a psychologist.

Work-life balance

Pay attention to your ability to disconnect and detach from work in your free time, especially when working from home. If you work from home then try to separate your work area from your personal space. Try to manage the distractors – check the notifications and emails only during work time, at specific intervals.


Try to take breaks during your workday. Even 5-10 minutes sometimes help to get your mind off work and relax for a moment. You can try doing mindfulness exercises.

You can find some exercises from here: