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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 217-219

Burnout flattens the professional work productivity

1 Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Jalan Sultan Mahmud, Terengganu, Malaysia
2 Faculty of Medicine and Defence Health, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia, (National Defence University of Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Date of Web Publication16-Apr-2019

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Mainul Haque
Faculty of Medicine and Defence Health, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia, (National Defence University of Malaysia), Kem Sungai Besi, 57000 Kuala Lumpur
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdmimsu.jdmimsu_33_18

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In the professional field, burnout of professions due to the elements of stress is quite common. This burnout of professionals has an impact on the professionalism of professionals, and this can also affect their work productivity. The purpose of this study is to avoid the ignorance regarding stress and burnouts that can negatively impact on professionals and their work productivity. This study is based on the dimensions of prolonged stress in the work environment such as overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of cynicism, and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. In a nutshell, this study indicates that conceptualizing the various aspects of burnouts can signify the need of preventing the stress and burnouts of professionals in the organizations rather than being ignorant about it.

Keywords: Burnout, professionals, stress, work productivity

How to cite this article:
Bhagat V, Haque M, Simbak NB. Burnout flattens the professional work productivity. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ 2018;13:217-9

How to cite this URL:
Bhagat V, Haque M, Simbak NB. Burnout flattens the professional work productivity. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ [serial online] 2018 [cited 2020 Jun 4];13:217-9. Available from: http://www.journaldmims.com/text.asp?2018/13/4/217/256207

Burnout is defined as a state of chronic stress that leads to (i) physical and emotional exhaustion, (ii) cynicism and detachment, and (iii) feelings of ineffectiveness and lack accomplishment.[1] Burnout is a syndrome that includes three dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism, and professional inefficacy basing on the classical definition.[2] Professionals in their workplace come across deadlines and performance allocations, work pressure, budget cuts, and restructuring the work these elements can induce stress in these professionals. Stress that work at the right level can motivate and challenge work productivity. The observed fact is that most people in the developed and developing countries and those who living in the cities are majorly linked to the workplaces, where most of their productive lives are spent.[3]

However, when the pressure for an employee to perform and to meet expectations becomes overwhelming and its consequences can affect employees physically, psychologically, and organizationally and can get in the way of achieving success. This kind of excessive stress for a prolonged period can lead to burnout. Burnout is a mental, emotional, and physical state of the exhaustion that can be characterized as feeling disinterested, pessimistic unmotivated, offended, helpless, hopeless, unrewarding, unfulfilled, and unsatisfied. Looking back to the literature, the studies have revealed the importance of work stressors both in the generation and prevention of mental disorders.[4] Professionals at the workplace who are suffering from burnout may feel disconnected from their professional environment. They commonly experience stress and are drained out of the energy in their personal and professional level. Literature indicates that stress and drained out progressively decrease in levels of engagement with their work environment is understood to be the response adopted by the workers experiencing burnout to cope with stress and frustration.[5],[6],[7]

Unhealthy stress in these professionals' results in burnout can negatively impact on various aspects of team's performance. Burnout professionals commonly have a high level of anxiety, that is, associated with their stress exhaustion and lethargy that can affect their work progress, missing deadlines allocated and slow in the task completion; indeed, these aspects can also pave the way for a lowered productivity in their work output. Professionals at their work with unhealthy stress levels may become more disorganized and incapable of time management. Other professionals who are interdependent professionals under stress can negatively impact the efficiency of the entire professional team. One of the researchers in this area has revealed that the high level of anxiety associated with an excess stress and the exhaustion and apathy that comes with burnout can obstruct workflows; causing workers to miss deadlines and their task completion go with the remarkably slow rate.[8] The “under-challenged” type must cope with monotonous and unstimulating conditions that fail to provide satisfaction and feels indifference, boredom, and lack of personal development.[9]

Over-stressed professionals may have a trouble in focusing on the task at their hand; make more mistakes hardly take pride in their work. Their quality of work gets deteriorated. Literature reveals that the “worn-out” type gives up when faced with stress or the absence of gratification and shows a lack of control, lack of acknowledgment, and neglect.[10] Professionals suffering from burnout commonly hold their focus of attention away from their job. Indeed, they spend most of their work time on personal activities, such as online shopping, occupying themselves on telephonic conversations with friends and relatives thus waste lot amount of work time. Past literature analysis revealed that burnout has a low level of dedication to their work, and this neglect could be due to a behavioral impairment related to the use of disengagement strategies.[11]

Burnouts are often held more negative attitude they become more pessimistic, impatient, disagreeable, and asocial. These professionals work with many complaints against their work structure and workplace, and commonly they do not enjoy their job. Reviewing the literature learns that burnout is characterized by an intermediate dedication to work, meaning that the related lack of development could be associated with avoidance coping strategies.[9] Noticeably, the burnouts in professional level at the workplace can severely impact the overall work environment and work productivity of the interconnected group. A profession such as medical and health care where the professionals deal with patients can cause even more damage and negatively reflect on the organization. Past literature reveals that the presence of burnouts has been associated with a worsened self-perception[12] that may affect their role in the organizational setup.

Indeed, professionals come across stress burnouts that can lead them to many mental and physical health problems such as digestive problems, depression, sleep disturbances, migraine headaches, autoimmune diseases, eczema, eating disorders, substance abuse, and many more. Moreover, if they have any preexisting health conditions, stress can also worsen this condition. Thus, it is need of the day to get focused to look for the preventive measures for such burnouts in various organizations. One of the literature studies discloses that there is still a lack of policies and interventions that effectively improve workers' mental health and prevent disorders. Interestingly, even among mental health workers, work-related mental disorders are highly prevalent.[13]

Professionals suffering from burnout will often take leave for various reasons such as remaining sick for a long time or frequently to remain absent at work. Even if they are at work, they will not have full-mindedness. They commonly work with a lowered spirit. They often see as arriving late, leave early, taking many breaks, and they usually function not to their best. In these cases, seen above the turnover is very common. Professionals when their work stress becomes overwhelming, many of them decide to change their job or place of work. Turnover causes loss not only for the professional but also indirectly leave a scratch mark on the organizations. Commonly organizations will face the high cost of training for a replacement; moreover, turnovers can lead to a negative impact on their morale and goodwill. One of the related study indicates that stress becomes overwhelming; many people decide that the best way to escape it is to leave the company.[8] In any organizations, excessive stress among the professionals can hurt virtually all aspects of team bonding and performance. Thus, it needs a careful monitoring of t issues-related stress and burnouts. One of the past studies mentions that the loss of team bonding among the employees hurts the team through a loss of talent, the high cost of training for a replacement, and a negative impact on the morale of the organization.[8]

Early signs of these conditions need to be identifying and mitigating when it is noticed, thereby preventing stress before it happens and minimizing its impact before it seeps into the psyche of professionals. Preventing burnouts can be a significant challenge to the organizations; when these challenges are faced healthily, it can quickly and efficiently reduce their stress's its harmful reach and prevent the burnouts. Indeed, the prevention of burnouts can harness professional with their energy to the fullest and motivate them to be more productive. One past literature study reveals that policies and interventions to promote the mental health should be designed to efficiently and process as a critical arena for action (WHO, 2005).[14]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Carter SB. The tell signs of burnout do you have them? Running out of gas? Recognizing the signs of burnout before it's too late. Psychology Today; 2013. Available from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201311/the-tell-tale-signs-burnout-do-you-have-them. [Last accessed on 2018 Mar 14].  Back to cited text no. 1
Maslach C, Schaufeli WB, Leiter MP. Job burnout. Annu Rev Psychol 2001;52:397-422.  Back to cited text no. 2
International Labor Office. Global Employment Trends: recovering from a Second Jobs Dip. Ch. 1211. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labor Office; 2013. p. 1-172, 2013. Available from: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/-–dgreports/-–dcomm/-–publ/documents/publication/wcms_202326.pdf. [Last accessed on 2018 Mar 14].  Back to cited text no. 3
D'Souza RM, Strazdins L, Lim LL, Broom DH, Rodgers B. Work and health in a contemporary society: Demands, control, and insecurity. J Epidemiol Community Health 2003;57:849-54.  Back to cited text no. 4
Montero-Marín J, Araya R, Blazquez BO, Skapinakis P, Vizcaino VM, García-Campayo J, et al. Understanding burnout according to individual differences: Ongoing explanatory power evaluation of two models for measuring burnout types. BMC Public Health 2012;12:922.  Back to cited text no. 5
Royal M, Agnew T. The Enemy of Engagement: Put an End to Workplace Frustration--and Get the Most from Your Employees. Broadway, New York, USA: American Management Association; 2011.  Back to cited text no. 6
Lewandowski CA. Organizational factors contributing to worker frustration: The precursor to burnout. J Sociol Soc Welf 2003;30:175-85.  Back to cited text no. 7
Fgi S. The Sting of Burnout on Productivity; 2011. Available from: https://www.shepellfgi.com/EN-CA/hrfundamentals/pdf/The%20Sting%20of%20Burnout%20on%20Productivity%20EN.pdf. [Last accessed on 2018 Mar 14].  Back to cited text no. 8
Montero-Marín J, García-Campayo J. A newer and broader definition of burnout: Validation of the “burnout clinical subtype questionnaire (BCSQ-36)”. BMC Public Health 2010;10:302.  Back to cited text no. 9
Farber BA. Burnout in psychotherapist: Incidence, types, and trends. Psychother Priv Pract 1990;8:35-44.  Back to cited text no. 10
Montero-Marín J, García-Campayo J, Mosquera Mera D, López del Hoyo Y. A new definition of burnout syndrome based on Farber's proposal. J Occup Med Toxicol 2009;4:31.  Back to cited text no. 11
Buunk BP, Schaufeli WB. Reciprocity in interpersonal relationships: An evolutionary perspective on its importance for health and well-being. Eur Rev Soc Psychol 1999;10:259-91.  Back to cited text no. 12
Paris M Jr., Hoge MA. Burnout in the mental health workforce: A review. J Behav Health Serv Res 2010;37:519-28.  Back to cited text no. 13
World Health Organization. Mental Health Policies and Programs in the Workplace. Mental Health Policy and Service Guidance Package. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization Press; 2005. Available from: http://www.who.int/mental_health/policy/services/13_policies%20programs%20in%20workplace_WEB_07.pdf. [Last accessed on 2018 Mar 14].  Back to cited text no. 14


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