Having a job that is very physically or mentally challenging can wear you down over time. Even younger, energetic workers may find themselves feeling overwhelmed after a while.
For me, taking a few days off for a long weekend away helps. Yet others must have a week or more to vacation and relax before they feel refreshed.
But taking short breaks every couple of months doesn’t cut it for everyone. Sometimes neither does taking a long vacation.
This is a clue they may be close to burnout in their jobs. If ignored, there are negative consequences of work burnout.
1. Running Behind
A consequence of work burnout is consistently running behind. While many people pride themselves on working long hours, running behind really isn’t desirable.
Other people are likely depending on what you do. If you aren’t getting your own work done on time it might be slowing them down as well.
Additionally, it can trickle down to customers who complain that their needs are not being met timely. When this happens, word eventually reaches upper management and may make its way back to you through disciplinary action.
2. Home Burnout
Work burnout can lead to home burnout. Coming home exhausted, both mentally and physically, causes you to take shortcuts.
You may skip bedtime routines, such as story time, with your kids. Or, you might get behind on household chores and other duties. In other words, your home life and family life suffer when you experience work burnout.
3. Ill Health
Ill Health is another of the consequence of work burnout. Some people, who work long hours, sacrifice sleep, exercise, eating right, and emotional well-being.
Lack of Exercise
Lack of exercise in the short term, such as for a day or two, probably won’t have lasting effects. However, if skipped for longer periods, such as weeks, months, or years, that’s an altogether different story.
Prolonged work burnout causes you to lose interest in daily exercise. All you do is work constantly with very few opportunities for fun or physical activity.
Not getting adequate rest is just as problematic as a lack of exercise. In all likelihood, the two together compound the other consequences of work burnout.
When you’re feeling work burnout, worrying about work may keep you up at night. Poor sleep contributes to weight gain and high cholesterol among other health concerns.
Bad Eating Habits
Takeout and convenience foods become the norm instead of the exception when you’re burnt out. Their lack of nutrition causes diabetes, heart disease, to name a few health issues. Eating healthy goes out the window and you trade work for your good health.
Did you know that just as you can be physically exhausted you can be emotionally exhausted too? That’s another sign of burnout from work.
A bad attitude, sloppy work performance, and reduced productivity are all symptoms of emotional work burnout.
4. Becoming Disorganized
Job burnout not only makes you run behind, it also makes you a disorganized mess. You may forget to enter appointments on your calendar. Paperwork doesn’t get filed and your desk ends up a mess.
Scheduling can become a nightmare if you aren’t keeping up with it. The next thing you know, you’re missing meetings and other important events.
5. Procrastinating Work Tasks
After becoming burnout at work you may find yourself procrastinating. Tasks that you dislike can get pushed to the side while you concentrate on others that are more enjoyable. If you’re not mindful to do them at some point, those things may not get done at all.
But it could be even worse depending on just how burnt out you are. Tasks you used to like might become tedious and boring causing you to put them off as well.
Procrastinating can extend beyond job duties, too. In fact, you could find yourself dreading even going to work each day.
6. Work Absences
As hinted at above, work burnout can lead to work absences. You might be tempted to call in sick at work and play hooky for a day or two.
Or, perhaps you’ll stay home and not call in at all. Obviously that’s not recommended because you could end up losing your job or business.
7. Diminishing Work Quality
If the quality of your work starts diminishing it could be caused by work burnout. Your drive to excel wanes leaving you with mediocre results on projects you should excel at.
As you’d expect, this could cause trouble if you work for someone else. Supervisors may issue warnings or fire you altogether if you can’t get past work burnout.
However, even if you’re self-employed, work burnout is a problem. It may be more serious than if you worked for someone else because your entire reputation could be at stake.
8. Decreasing Business Revenues
In my line of work I can’t afford to let work burnout take over. Producing work of low quality or that’s consistently late will affect my clients.
When my clients aren’t happy they could drop me and hire someone else in my place. This would affect my income by lowering it, at least temporarily. Needless to say, if word got around to other clients it could sink my reputation and my entire business.
9. Relationship Problems
Whether you’re self-employed, like me, or work for someone else, relationship problems can be a consequence of work burnout. Falling behind on household duties is but one reason for this. Another could be not spending enough time with your family or partner.
Other people’s feelings must be taken into account and attention must be paid. Otherwise, your relationships could end up in jeopardy.
10. Lowered Creativity
On other effect of work burnout is lowered creativity. You go through the motions of work because you must, not because you enjoy it. Therefore, you close your mind off to new ways of thinking.
This can cause decreased business income, lowered productivity, and reduced efficiency. You aren’t looking for ways to work faster or improve products or services.
11. Losing Interest in Fun
You may lose your interest in fun when you are burn out at work. Most of your focus and energy will be on just getting through each day.
When you get days off you may sleep more or play catch-up at home rather than doing something fun. But neither of those activities really recharges your batteries, so to speak. So, you won’t go back to work feeling refreshed once your days off are at an end.
12. Forgetting Goals
Being severely burnt out in your work can lead you to forget your business goals. Once you lose track of those, you’ve lost your “why”.
Losing your “why” impacts your motivation. Goals are part of what drives you. If you lose focus on them, your work slows down to a crawl or may change direction completely.
13. Business closure
It’s possible that work burnout could cause you to close a business if you are the owner. When the burnout is severe enough that you simply can’t recover, it may be a necessary, unfortunate consequence.
Clearly there are lots of negative consequences of work burnout. However, using this information, hopefully you can spot work burnout and recover from it quicker.