Health & Well-Being Psychology

Workplace Burnout and Ways of Coping

          Work nowadays takes up most of a person’s life. At the same time, the modern work context brings many challenges to the employee, which, apart from their performance, affect their physical and psychological health [1]. To describe this decline in an individual’s functioning caused by work, the term burnout, commonly, “burnout” is used. This term began to appear in the 1970s, describing workers of humanistic professions [3].

          Over the years, many, researchers have formulated definitions on the term burnout, however Christina Maslach’s definition remains one of the most widely used. Maslach divides burnout into three dimensions [3]:

  • Emotional burnout refers to the actions taken by the person experiencing burnout to remove them emotionally and mentally from their job as a defense against intense stress.
  • Depersonalization is the mechanism in which the individual resorts to a more cold communication with the people he or she interacts with in the workplace, as well as with clients.
  • Negative self-evaluation in job achievements refers to the sense of ineffectiveness that the employee feels as well as the negative criticism that is constantly levelled at him/her.

          Although burnout is an issue that is of increasing concern to more and more employees, it can be addressed with proper management. A primary role in combating burnout is played by balancing work and personal life, especially if the employee has constant and intense contact with other people [4]. Another notable variable is the self-care factor. According to research by the University of Athens, a balanced diet and adequate rest time, engaging in physical exercise and reducing the consumption of substances such as caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol can help to regulate a worker’s stress. The same research also encourages short, enjoyable activities that increase positive emotions after long hours of work.

Bibliography

[1]     Argyri, A., Folia, P., Belias, D., Roussidis, I., Papatolia, S., Tsiotas, D. (2018), Job Satisfaction and Burnout of Teachers, 4th International Conference for the Promotion of Educational Innovation, 274 – 282.

[2]     Mavroidi, A., Kalymniou, M., Gonidakis, F. (2020), Prevention and Treatment of Burnout Syndrome in Health Care Personnel, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, A’ Psychiatric Clinic, p.6

[3]     Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B., & Leiter, M. P. (2001). job burnout. annual review of psychology, 52(1), 397-422.

[4]     Maslach, C., Jackson, S. E., Jackson, S. E., Leiter, M. P., Schaufeli, W. B., & Schwab, R. L. (1986). Maslach burnout inventory (Vol. 21, pp. 3463-3464) Palo Alto, CA: Consulting psychologists press.

Vassilis Rafail

Vassilis Rafail

Vassilis Raphael is a psychologist and project manager in the Research and Development Department of NGO IASIS. He studied psychology at the University of East London, specialising in positive psychology at the Hellenic Society of Positive Psychology and music therapy at the Athens Opera Conservatory. He qualified for the Vodafone Foundation's World of Difference 2020 competition, working as a project manager for the Connect your City mobile application. He is also one of the 100 young people from around the world who qualified for the Local Pathways Fellowship 2021 programme of the United Nations Network for Sustainable Development Solutions.

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