Finger on the Pulse: The signs of workplace burnout and what you can do about it


February 15, 2017 | BY Dr Andrea Lim

Studies are showing that the proportion of the workforce that is experiencing burnout at workplace is steadily increasing. Here's how you can achieve a healthier working life.

Dr Andrea Lim.jpg (original size)Dr Andrea Lim

Approximately one-third, or over 30% of the human life is spent working. In this day and age where we are all so connected to our inboxes and instant messages, this amount of time may be even longer.

Studies are showing that the proportion of the workforce that is experiencing burnout at the workplace is steadily increasing. Workplace burnout is a specific state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion related to our jobs, compounded by doubts about our job competence and the value of our work.

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Signs of workplace burnout are slipping job performance, lack of motivation, exhaustion, trouble concentrating on tasks, frustration and cynicism, relationship problems with colleagues and family members, neglecting our health, falling ill and being preoccupied with work issues outside of the office.

If you are experiencing some of these issues, here’s what to do to reset your buttons and achieve a healthier working life.

Evaluate your skills and interests

An honest 360-degree assessment may reveal a change in your interests. This exercise will help you in deciding whether to consider a different job role, or even a change in career path that gives you more enjoyment and meaning in your work.

Explore your options at work

Does your company offer flexible hours? Or an employee mentoring programme? What about options for further study and development? Sometimes that’s all that we need to reinvigorate our interest and commitment to our work.

Have a support system

Reach out and discuss your difficulties with people that you are comfortable with—colleagues, friends or family. Feeling unable to speak out because of embarrassment or for whatever reason will make you feel even more alone in the problem. Sometimes just talking about your problems to another person will give you better perspective than mulling over it yourself.

Make time for sleep and exercise

Put yourself first and that means taking care of your health. Getting enough rest and giving your body the physical activity it needs will help you better deal with stress and negative emotions. Does your workplace have an employee wellness programme? Consider joining it with a colleague.

With a perfect combination of charismatic beauty, grace and intelligence, Dr Andrea Lim is a firm believer in the values of hard work and dedication. Besides working in her family business, KL Sogo, the medical degree holder is also a partner in her husband’s health and fitness venture, Peak Fitness.

To get in touch with her, please email

Give yourself a good night's sleep with these 6 useful pointers from Dr Andrea Lim.