After facing the havoc left by the pandemic on the mental health of many people, organizations and employees are facing a phenomenon that affects human beings on a physical, emotional and mental level: the ‘burnout’ syndrome. This condition has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an occupational disease that causes chronic stress, exhaustion, negativism and disconnection with personal achievements.
In this regard, the professional services firm BDO in Colombia explains how this disease represents a challenge for leaders and their organizations, who must have containment strategies against this psychosocial risk.
Diego Bernal, director of Human Resources at BDO in Colombia, indicates that the difference between stress associated with work and ‘burnout’ is that “the usual stress associated with work is a natural response of the body to tight delivery times, excessive workload and excessive pressure for rapid achievement of results, which on some occasions can be a source of motivation to face projects, but must be well managed. For its part, the ‘burnout’ syndrome is a chronic condition related to work stress that is characterized by a permanent state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion, accompanied by feelings of incapacity and disconnection, which can alter personality, self-esteem and of course the results at work”, says the expert.
The ‘burnout’ syndrome was included in the International Classification of Diseases in 2022, which allows it to be considered as another pathology and to have the same treatment in the Social Security System. In this sense, workers may present disabilities due to this disease and the employer must attend to the medical recommendations that contribute to the recovery and well-being of the employee’s health.
Bernal emphasizes the importance of addressing work stress as a public health problem and highlights the need for companies to take measures to prevent and manage fatigue syndrome at work.