How to Spot Signs of Burnout in Colleagues


Working from home (WFH) has become the new normal for many businesses in Singapore. But with this change comes new challenges, including the increased potential for burnout.

Burnout can be defined as a state of physical or emotional exhaustion caused by excessive stress. It can hit when people feel like they’re working all the time and never getting a break. WFH has further contributed to this as the lines between work and leisure at home are blurred. Employees are now spending more hours working while feeling pressured to be in constant contact with the rest of the team.

When employees are experiencing burnout, they may feel unmotivated and even resentful towards their jobs. This can lead to decreased productivity levels, poorer quality work and high turnover rates.

What many people don’t realise is that burnout doesn’t happen overnight. It is a slow process that gradually builds over time. It is thus important for managers to prevent employee burnout by recognising the warning signs and taking steps to mitigate the risks. Once you’re aware of them, you can address the problem in time before it becomes serious.

Here are the common types of burnout and what you can do as a manager:

1. Overload burnout

Overload burnout occurs when employees are pushed beyond their limits, resulting in physical and emotional exhaustion. Your staff may be working for prolonged periods of time without taking breaks. They are usually driven by their own professional ambitions and want to prove themselves. However, in the process, they may not notice that it is taking a toll on their own health.

What can employers do?

If you’ve heard from other team members that he or she has been doing a lot and working after-office hours, this is a sign to check up on your staff. It can be easy for employees to overwork themselves, especially if they are passionate about their jobs. However, it’s important to remind them of the dangers of overworking, and encourage them to take breaks and relax when possible.

You can also have more visibility on your team’s workload and help by allocating tasks or projects to other colleagues. With proper workflow management, you can avoid overloading or underloading your staff more effectively.

2. Under-challenged burnout

Under-challenged burnout happens in individuals who feel like they are not using their full potential at work. Employees can become stagnant in their roles for many reasons. Some may feel unchallenged or bored, while others may feel they have hit a ceiling and are unable to advance any further. This can lead to feelings of frustration and boredom, which will reflect in their quality of work.

What can employers do?

All too often, talented employees leave organisations because they feel like they aren’t being properly utilised. A lack of development opportunities can lead to disengaged employees who are more likely to leave, costing the company time and money in replacements.

To keep your best employees, you need to invest in them. Keep your employees challenged with continued training programmes to help them develop new skills and stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends. By providing employees with opportunities to learn and grow, you are sending a strong message to your staff that you are committed to their development and growth.

How to Spot Signs of Burnout in Colleagues 2

3. Neglect burnout

While burnout is often associated with being overworked, it can also occur in situations where we feel undervalued or unappreciated. This occurs when an employee feels unimportant in their job, and it can be just as debilitating as regular burnout.

What can employers do?

It can make all the difference when you are connecting with your staff on a weekly basis. Through huddles or one-to-one lunch sessions, you can keep it informal and encourage employees to voice out any concerns or feedback. An open line of communication can create a trusting relationship between the company and its employees. When employees feel like they can approach their managers with concerns, they are more likely to do so before those concerns turn into full-blown problems.

In addition to training opportunities, providing promotion chances within the team is one way to show your appreciation and motivate them to do their best work. Promotions can be a great way to reward employees for their hard work and help them grow professionally. By doing so, your employees will also have a sense of accomplishment and this can boost morale.

That being said, don’t forget to give your employees the occasional pat on the back. Praise can be a powerful tool for employee recognition. A genuine compliment can go a long way in making your staff feel appreciated in the long run.

Do more for your employees

In today’s competitive marketplace, businesses need to offer more than just a paycheck to their employees – they need to offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes things like health insurance, mental wellbeing support, and paid vacation days. After all, your employees are your most valuable asset. If you are interested in reviewing your current offerings and adding new benefits that appeal to your employees, feel free to get in touch with Expat Insurance in Singapore.

By providing a well-designed benefits package, you can prevent burnout in your company and retain your valued employees.

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