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3 Signs Of Burnout At Work And How to Effectively Manage It

a young woman stressed at work

Stress is a very common workplace concern. When left unmanaged, it may lead to burnout and could take more toll on the employee’s wellbeing and productivity. Working in the tech industry involves a lot of effort of working with your brain. There are some days where one can feel mentally exhausted and sometimes, a night’s rest is not enough to take it away. The following day, exhaustion is still there and it can oftentimes reflect lack of focus and concentration.

Technology industry employers are aware of the ‘burnout crisis’ happening among many professionals. A study participated by over 36,200 IT professionals across 33 countries showed that 2 in 5 workers are at high risk of burnout, which is a result of longer working hours, demanding workloads, and challenges in work-life balance. Furthermore, it depicted that 42% of IT workers experiencing high burnout levels are contemplating on leaving their companies.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is psychologically described as a state of severe physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Reaching the level of burnout is far worse than ordinary fatigue. It can even lead to serious psychological and physical illnesses if left untreated. Recently, the World Health Organization recognized it as an occupational phenomenon. It is due to the drastic changes brought about by the pandemic lockdowns and changes in the working environment for most workers.

3 Obvious Signs of Burnout

  1. Exhaustion – it manifests through feeling physically and emotionally depleted. Some physical symptoms include headaches, appetite or sleeping changes, and stomachaches.

  2. Isolation – Burnout people are more inclined to feel overwhelmed which often leads to removing themselves from the presence of family, friends, and co-workers.

  3. Irritability – If someone reaches a level of burnout, it is easier to lose their patience over things, no matter how petty they can be. This will further make coping with day to day stress seem like an impossible task to complete.

Stages of Burnout

Psychologists like Herbert Freudenberger and Gail North have come up with a summarized outline of the phases one goes through in this syndrome. Below are some of them:

  • Extreme level of drive or ambition

  • Pushing oneself to work harder

  • Disregarding personal needs

  • Blaming others when faced with conflict

  • Denial

  • Withdrawal

  • Behavioral changes

  • Depression

Effective Ways to Prevent Burnout in the Tech Industry

Though stress may be unavoidable, do not let it get to the point of burnout. Managing how you deal and handle your stress makes reaching the burnout stage preventable. If you’re looking into small ways to incorporate in your daily life to help relieve stress, here are some steps you can take:

  • Exercise. Not only that one’s physical health benefits from it, it has been scientifically proven to also give emotional boost. Exercising for even 30 minutes a day will do wonders to your physical and emotional wellbeing.

  • Following a balanced diet. When it comes to the food a person consumes every day, it is important to pay a little attention to the nutrients we get. Adding foods rich in omega-3s such as walnuts, flaxseed oil, and fish to one’s diet helps improve the mood.

  • Having a good sleeping routine. One of the constant pieces of advice any stressed person gets is to follow a good sleeping schedule. Our bodies need ample time to reset and it can be achieved by having enough rest.

  • Never hesitate to ask for help. One healthy advice that gets ignored the most is probably asking for help. This is never a sign of weakness but instead courage. It takes a lot for someone to put an effort into reaching out for help. A simple self-care check-in with a close friend or family member makes your load a lot lighter.


Exposure to stress is most likely to happen in every industry. For people employed under tech jobs, evaluating and acknowledging one’s health status can be a helpful action to being aware of the early signs of burnout. It becomes more manageable to develop prevention steps before the situation worsens.

This doesn’t mean that you should ignore the obvious signs of being in a toxic working environment. If you are feeling the early indications of burnout better talk it out with your manager, or maybe it’s about time to find a healthier workplace. For job opportunities which ensure work-life balance and provide employees with mental, physical, and emotional support, browse through SearchElect’s wide range of options today!


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