Overcoming the 3 Major Types of Work-Related Burnout

work-related burnout

Did you know there are 3 major types of work-related burnout? The multifamily industry certainly brings its fair share of stressors, amplified over the past year and a half. It may not surprise you to learn that people in today’s workforce are burning out at a younger age than ever before (26-27 years old versus the mid-30s). Right now, Millennials are uniquely affected by work-related burnout, but why?

Would you believe the major contributor is the added connectivity available with modern technology? This means that employees can be accessible around the clock and often feel obligated to dip into their downtime in the name of productivity.

Specifically, “burnout” refers to a state of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. It reduces productivity and drains energy, leaving you feeling helpless, resentful, and like you have nothing more to give. Lifestyle, personality, and work-related burnout can affect anyone at any age, and it’s important to recognize the signs if you are heading in that direction. These include:

  • Every day is a bad day
  • You’re exhausted all the time
  • Caring about work or home is a waste of energy
  • Your daily tasks are dull or overwhelming
  • You feel nothing you do is appreciated

If you can identify these red flags early, you can intervene with active stress management to avoid a total breakdown. You can also look for these behavioral signs that you may be on the road to burnout:

  • Withdrawing from responsibilities
  • Using food, drugs, or alcohol as therapy
  • Coming in late to or skipping work

Although they may seem the same, you need to be able to distinguish between stress and burnout.


  • Is characterized by over-engagement
  • Emotions are overreactive
  • Produces urgency and hyperactivity
  • Causes loss of energy
  • Leads to anxiety disorders
  • Primarily causes physical damage
  • May kill you prematurely


  • Is characterized by disengagement
  • Emotions are blunted
  • Produces helplessness and hopelessness
  • Causes a loss of motivation, ideals and hope
  • Leads to detachment and depression
  • Primarily causes emotional damage
  • May make life seem not worth living

Burnout is generally brought on by one of the following three causes:

  1. Work-related causes of burnout
  • Feeling like you have little or no control over your work
  • Lack of recognition or reward for good work
  • Unclear or overly demanding job expectations
  • Doing work that’s monotonous or unchallenging
  • Working in a chaotic or high-pressure environment
  1. Lifestyle causes of burnout
  • Working too much, without enough time for socializing or relaxing
  • Lack of close, supportive relationships
  • Taking on too many responsibilities, without enough help from others
  • Not getting enough sleep
  1. Personality traits
  • Perfectionistic tendencies: nothing is ever good enough
  • Pessimistic view of yourself and the world
  • The need to be in control; reluctance to delegate to others
  • High-achieving, Type A personality

What are the three biggest causes of employee work-related burnout?

Although unrealistic deadlines/results expectations and consistently working long hours rank as #2 and #3, the #1 cause of employee burnout could be totally avoidable! The #1 reason is:

Lack of support or recognition from leadership!

Our Multifamily team members have many other options for employment, so we must take the time to make sure they know they are appreciated and valued.

Here are the 3 major types of work-related burnout

So since all of us in the Multifamily industry have “work” in common, let’s discuss the 3 major types of work-related burnout. It’s important to know which type of burnout you or your team members are experiencing to focus on the best prevention methods.

  1. The Worn-Out Worker – You keep on frantically working despite feeling overwhelmed and overloaded with work, overlooking your own needs in order to fulfil your work demands. In the words of the researchers: “The frenetic burnout type works increasingly harder, to the point of exhaustion, in search of success, and presents involvement, ambition and overload.”
  2. The Frenetic Worker – You can see this type of burnout as the opposite of the first one. You feel like your work doesn’t offer you opportunities to develop your abilities: “The under-challenged type has to cope with monotonous and unstimulating conditions that fail to provide satisfaction and feels indifference, boredom and lack of personal development.”
  3. The Bored Worker – You are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. When things at work don’t turn out as well as they should, you stop trying. As a result, you become passive and unmotivated.

Key Prevention Tips

For the Frenetic Worker:

  • Set boundaries
  • Learn how to say “no”so that you can say yes to those things that are meaningful to you
  • Schedule relaxation time

For the Bored Worker:

  • Learn something new
  • Find value in your work

For the Worn-Out Worker:

  • Set relaxation time (this is especially important for the worn-out worker)
  • Find a support group of like-minded people

In addition, any burned-out employee should find a mentor or trusted partner to confide in, vent to, and seek advice from. Also included with this article is a handout that will list burnout resources and detailed suggestions for burnout prevention!

Contributed by:

Pam Pederson
Director of Engagement and Communications at Edge2Learn

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Edge2Learn is an eLearning company whose focus is the Property Management Industry and specializes in property management training and multifamily education. With almost 40 years of experience and a commitment to increase industry excellence, we are passionate about engaging learners to maximize benefits for both companies and employees. Aligned with a well-respected industry leader, Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions, the Edge2Learn platform provides a turnkey solution for clearly identified needs and opportunities. We prepare learners to deliver a superior customer experience and reduce corporate liability risks and overall employee turnover.