New statistics from The Workplace Health Report have revealed that 76% of employees in the UK report moderate to high or high levels of stress, up 13% from last year.
Recognising symptoms of stress is crucial when it comes to avoiding burnout, but sometimes, it can be easier to spot these symptoms in others before seeing them in yourself.
April 1st marks the start of Stress Awareness Month, and so SaaSGenius has rounded up some of the most common signs of stress, so you can reduce the risk of burnout in your colleagues.
1. Visibly Tired And Increasingly Irritable
When someone is stressed, it’s likely that they will struggle to get to sleep at a reasonable hour. As well as this, a lack of sleep can also lead to increased irritability or uncharacteristic frustrations. If you’re noticing a colleague is reacting to situations differently, becoming frustrated more easily or complaining they are more tired than usual, it’s likely that they could be dealing with stress.
2. Working Through Breaks Or Working Longer Hours
When someone is repeatedly working through breaks or working longer hours to get tasks finished, it’s a sign their workload is too high or they are stressed about deadlines. According to The Workplace Health Report, workload is the top cause of work-related stress, so be aware of anyone found doing this.
3. Time Off
If a colleague isn’t making use of their annual leave, it’s a major sign of an unhealthy work-life balance, which can be a contributing factor to burnout. As time off is needed to rest and recuperate, it’s important to always encourage team members to make use of their holidays throughout the year.
4. Poor Time Management – Arriving Late To Work, Missing Deadlines
When we are feeling stressed or burnt out, our cognitive functions such as memory, attention and decision-making abilities are impaired. With this in mind, if a colleague is missing deadlines, arriving late to work or forgetting to do tasks, it can be a clear sign of burnout. This can also happen when someone is feeling less motivated about their job because they’re under stress.
5. Unusually Quiet And Withdrawn
When someone is emotionally or physically exhausted, they tend to withdraw and detach from work and engage less in social interactions, perhaps as they begin to feel disinterested in their job or are experiencing high levels of stress.
What To Do If You Spot Signs Of Burnout In A Colleague
If someone in your work is showing clear signs of stress, offering a space to talk is the best place to start. Being part of a team is all about supporting one another, and sometimes people will find stress relief in just being listened to or by offloading.
Next, try to find out what the situation is about and whether it is something you can directly help with, or if it’s something that needs to be referred to a manager or the HR department. Whilst it is great to support your teammates with open conversation, there will be many situations where action from above will be needed; whether that’s in relation to reducing a person’s workload, or supporting them in a professional sense on managing their mental health.
As a friend, it’s also great to encourage your colleague to prioritise their self-care by taking regular breaks, going outside and getting away from their desk on their lunch breaks. As well as this, engaging the team in some wellbeing activities, such as going on walks or doing some arts & crafts, can be a good way to re-engage someone and to remind them how important it is to have a healthy work-life balance.