Burnout, Brownout, Bore-out at the Workplace

Are you hoping that you would get a heart attack just to escape the ever-increasing workload at your job? Are you planning your holiday in Hawaii or Barcelona instead of finishing up the report that your boss asked you to complete last week? Or maybe you’re just playing Candy Crush on your smartphone trying to reach that new level that you were aiming for since last month. If you’re doing all these things while at work, you could be suffering from burnout, brownout or bore-out. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Everyone experiences a stressful period at least once in their life, and that’s completely normal. However, some people go through worse phases and feel completely down, and not able to look at another email from their superiors. These periods can range from complete burnout, where the person can’t cope with anything that is thrown at them anymore, to the “little siblings” of burnout: brownout and bore-out.


What are they?

Brownout is characterized by being lethargic at work, being disengaged with what you are doing and you once enjoyed, and a loss of interest in coming up with new solutions that would benefit the company. Bore-out on the other hand tends to affect people doing repetitive work or actually lacking any meaningful tasks. This can make employees feel like they are not going anywhere with their lives. As a result, people affected by these two symptoms are not as efficient at their work as they once were, and their productivity decreases significantly.

The satisfaction you once had is gone, the hopelessness and fatigue is setting in, and it’s affecting everyone involved in your life. You might find yourself playing video games when you get home instead of talking to your significant other, your dog might be wondering where his playful owner went, and you’re just counting down the hours until you have to go to work again. But this doesn’t have to be you anymore.

What can you do about them?

There are some steps that you could follow: register for a yoga class and find your inner zen, start following counselling lessons to help you cope with the stress, or reach out to your family or friends. If none of this helps and you feel like you’ve exhausted your options, chances are that you might need a bigger change in your professional life and should start looking for another job. Researching the company before applying for a job gives you a better chance of finding an organisation where your values align and you feel like you’re in the right place.

If you think that this article might be about you, it is time for you to take action and regain the office happiness that you once had. Explore the opportunities that we have on offer and find your next great place to work.


Maja Fiołek

Written by Maja Fiołek

Maja is a Communication Ambassador at MyNextCompany and a passionate advocate of translating the inbound tools into the world of recruitment. Outside of work, you will find her training for the next triathlon or nose-deep in house renovation.