The WHO gives recognition to work burnout as a syndrome linked to chronic work stress

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The World Health Organization is about to embark on the development of evidence-based guidelines on mental well-being in the workplace.

People work overtime to make sure they’re succeeding in their careers, but those who bite off more than they can chew risk burnout, a condition now recognised by the World Health Organization.

Avoiding getting to that point is possible by knowing the symptoms, such as insomnia or feeling generally unwell, reports The New York Times. Setting boundaries is also important and opens the door to more valuable opportunities

The WHO has redefined burnout as a syndrome linked to chronic work stress with a difference between a busy workload and something more serious.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the problem will be recognised in the latest International Classification of Diseases manual, where it is described as a syndrome “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.

According to the WHO, burnout has three elements: feelings of exhaustion, mental detachment from one’s job and poorer performance at work. But waiting until you’re already fully burned out to do something about it doesn’t help at all and you wouldn’t wait to treat any other illness until it was too late.

Depression and pre-burnout are very similar, but as much as there was a lot of enthusiasm recently that burnout has now become a medical condition, it is still not – it is still classified as an occupational phenomenon.

The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), a test designed to measure burnout. The most widely used is the MBI-General Survey, which measures things like exhaustion, cynicism, and how well a person thinks he’s doing at work.

According to a 2018 Gallup study of 7,500 US workers, burnout stems from unfair treatment at work, an unmanageable workload and a lack of clarity about what a person’s role should involve. Workers were also stressed out by a lack of support from their manager and unreasonable time pressure.



%d bloggers like this: