Addressing the Employee Burnout Problem

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 16/08/2018
minimise employee burnouts

We want to touch upon the frequent workplace problem of today - employee burnout. If you’re a managing director or a company owner, we suggest you give this article a read. Not taking time off and working overtime are not admirable employee traits. They are a fast-track ticket to serious issues.  

In a quick-paced corporate world, stress and fatigue have long since become normal. With most industries being rather cut-throat, the employees may often feel as if they’re competing with one another; be it for a promotion or general job stability.

Increased workload, longer hours and dedication to quick yet flawless execution often lead to employee burnout. While this too has become an attribute of the corporate world, burnout is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

How to Prevent Employee Burnout

There are multiple ways of preventing employee burnout, from improving work distribution to establishing open, trust-based communication. Every case is individual and needs to be approached as such. However, the first step of prevention is the same - recognition of the signs. 

They are often pretty subtle and the employee themselves may not be aware yet. It, therefore, falls on you to also aid them in recognising they are going down the dangerous route. By the time burnout becomes evident, we are no longer dealing with the symptoms. We are dealing with the consequences. 

Consequences of a Burnout

Unfortunately, burnout has been normalised in modern society as is perceived as something that everyone goes through now and then. However, the truth is that it carries heavy consequences. It’s not just your business that is put in jeopardy. It’s the employee’s life.

Poorer Performance

Although often the reason behind employee burnout is the ambition of improving one’s performance, the opposite happens. Having put too much energy into work leaves workers exhausted when facing the next challenge, and thus their performance takes a hit.

Recovering from burnout takes longer than what leads to it, too. Therefore employees that suffer frequent burnouts are also more susceptible to receiving negative performance reviews which can lead to low morale. Simply put, no matter how good their performance is during the spike period, burnout is more noticeable due to its longevity. 

Shorter Lifespan

Scientists have discovered that an unhealthy relationship with work and frequent burnout cases lead to a shorter lifespan. Often the damage caused by overworking affects both physical and mental health. For example, an office-bound employee that works extra is putting a strain on their eyes and back. The consequences are more severe in physical jobs.

Some deny themselves food consumption, deducing this would be a waste of time. Others indulge in fast, easily accessible junk food that can be eaten at their desk. Mentally, fatigue causes depression and anxiety. Burnout staff frequently report being unable to fall asleep after a long day due to stress. 

How Do You Reduce Employee Burnout?

Now that we have acknowledged the dangers posed by burnout, let’s talk about what can one do to prevent it. Keep in mind that sometimes simply voicing your concerns is enough to put the employee back on the right track.

Monitor the Overtime

Occasional overtime happens - but it’s a problem when it becomes a trend. To tell the difference, you need to start monitoring your staff's work hours and identify the patterns. A good idea would be to get a project time tracker software.

There are multiple benefits to this investment other than spotting employees that overexert themselves. This digital solution will largely contribute to your team’s alignment, help you manage budgets and expenses better, and deliver deeper insights into your overall performance.

Ensure They Claim Their Holiday Entitlement 

Legally, every employee is entitled to a minimum of 28 paid annual days off. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure the holiday entitlement is claimed. However, regardless of the size of your company, it can be tricky if you’re relying on spreadsheets or manual processes to manage time-off bookings.

Timesheet Portal offers a centralised system that gives you a clear overview of your staff’s holiday entitlement. It also streamlines the process of booking time off, calculates holiday accrual and allows you to approve or reject time off requests.

Long-Term Solution to Staff Burnout

While yes, you should first focus on solving the issue at hand, you must also think of a self-sustained solution that won’t require your involvement moving forward. Unfortunately, there is no software to assist you with that. Digital tools are only tools, and cannot be applied in areas where human judgement is needed.

Identify the Root of the Problem

There are many reasons why your staff are pushing themselves past their limits. It can be personal issues, such as feeling anxious over missing their deadlines. Maybe they’re trying to impress you after a negative performance review or feel they’re not living up to the company’s standards.

Sit the overworker down and have a deep, personal conversation to try and understand what’s causing their unrest. Mind, depending on your relationship, this may be a difficult task. Be empathetic, don’t emphasise their worsened performance, and instead seek clarity. Learning the true issue enables you to work together in order to solve it. And this leads to a strong, trust-driven relationship. 


The fast pace of the corporate world turned working overtime and suffering burnout into a norm when it should have never happened. There’s scientific evidence that not only does work fatigue negatively reflect on work performance and mental health, but also shortens one’s lifespan.

An employer must do their best to ensure the rate of burnout among employees is minimal in their organisation. Short-term, it can be done by implementing time tracking software and making sure workers take their annual leave. In a long term, however, you need to identify what’s making the employee overexert themselves and work on it together.

Do your staff suffer from frequent burnout? Try Timesheet Portal for free to identify a potential problem.

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Timesheet Portal online software provided by Anfold Software Ltd, a registered company in the UK.