World News – AU – The surprising difference between stress and burnout


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Posted on November 18, 2020

Workplace stress and overload are increasing around the world and is often seen as a cause of burnout. But a new study questions this assumption.

In 1974 Herbert Freudenberger coined the term burnout. In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) reached a milestone, officially classifying it as a medical diagnosis, including the condition in the International Classification of Diseases, the handbook that guides medical service providers in diagnosing cases.. . He describes burnout as « a syndrome that has been conceptualized as the result of chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. ». Three symptoms that can help you recognize it: Feeling of energy drained or exhausted; Increasing mental distance from one’s job, or feeling negative or cynical about one’s job; And reduce professionalism. Burnout refers specifically to phenomena in a professional context and should not be applied to describing experiences in other areas of life.

Now that burnout is officially a chronic workplace crisis, companies are taking the condition more seriously.. It helps to understand that fatigue is not the same as stress, and that you cannot cure it by taking a long vacation, slowing down, or working fewer hours.. Stress is something. Burnout is a completely different state of mind. Under pressure, I still struggle to deal with stress. But once the exhaustion takes hold, you are running out of fuel and you have lost all hope of overcoming the obstacles. When you suffer from exhaustion, it is more than just fatigue. You have a deep feeling of disappointment and despair that your efforts were in vain. Life loses its meaning, and the little tasks feel like a walk on top of Mount Everest. Your interests and motivations dry up, and you fail to fulfill the smallest of obligations.

Surveys show that over 60% of absenteeism from work is attributable to psychological stress and stress-related burnout. According to a 2018 survey, 40% of 2,000 employees said they were considering quitting due to burnout. Experts estimate burnout translates into a loss of anywhere from $ 150 to $ 350 billion annually for U. s. Business. Here’s a chilling statistic for any manager, especially in a tight job market: Your employees can’t do their best to get out of the corners of despair, contact illness, or quit smoking – all in an effort to survive burnout.

said researcher Christian Dürmann, who led the study at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. “To protect themselves from further burnout, some try to build a psychological distance from their work, that is, they alienate themselves from their work and the people associated with it and become more cynical..

The results of the Johannes Gutenberg University study in Mainz challenge the common notion that work stress is the driving force behind burnout. The team evaluated 48 longitudinal studies of burnout and work stress, involving 26,319 participants. The average age in the initial survey was approximately 42 years, and 44% of the participants were men. The longitudinal studies from 1986 to 2019 came from different countries, including majority European countries in addition to Israel,. s. Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, China and Taiwan.

Results of the new study show that work stress and burnout reinforce each other. However, contrary to popular belief, burnout has a greater effect on work stress compared to the opposite. Dorman said, « This means that the more fatigue a person has, the more stress he feels at work, such as exposure to time pressure, for example. ». “Employees experiencing burnout should be provided with adequate support in a timely fashion to break the vicious circle between work stress and burnout..

The results challenge the popular notion that work stress is the driving force behind burnout. Dorman notes that « burnout can be a cause in a work situation, but this is not always the case. ». Once fatigue begins, it only develops gradually, building up slowly over time. Ultimately, this results in the work being viewed as increasingly stressful: the amount of work is too much, time is too short, and the stress too much.. “When tired, the ability to cope with stress usually decreases. As a result, small tasks can be considered significantly more difficult, ”explains Christina Gautier, first author of the article. She pointed out, « We expected the effect of burnout on work pressure, and the strength of the effect was very surprising. ». The effect of burnout on perceived work stress can be mitigated somewhat if employees have greater control over their work and receive support from colleagues or superiors..

Moving forward, key questions must be addressed: How can the effects of burnout on perceived work stress be minimized and how can this vicious cycle be prevented? Researchers suggest that the place to start is managerial behavior. Employees should have the opportunity to provide feedback on work stress at any time and be listened to. Last but not least, a proper recovery can also help stop the downward spiral.

Christina Gautier, Christian Dorman, Manuel C.. Voelkle. Cross-effects between work stress and burnout: a time-continuous meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. . Psychological Bulletin, 2020; DOI: 10. 1037 / bul0000304

Brian Robinson, PhD. Dr. He is professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has more than 37 books.

Lockdown, Occupational Burnout, Coronavirus, New Zealand, University of Canterbury

World News – Australia – The surprising difference between stress and burnout


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