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Stress: online searches for 'burnout' rise 50% since April

More Brits are now taking 'burnout tests' to check if they are suffering from workplace stress. Photo: Bethany Legg/Unsplash

Online searches for “burnout” are on the rise as Brits start to realise how much stress they’re under at work.

The World Health Organisation recognised “burnout” as an “occupational phenomenon” in April following concern over high levels of workplace stress and its effects on those who suffer.

With WHO recognising stress, there has been a spike in Brits looking for information about burnout online, analysis by Perkbox shows.

READ MORE: Why nearly 40% of employees are so burned out they want to quit

Searches for “what is burnout?” increased by 55% over the last year, with monthly searches at about 602 in 2018, reaching 932 in the last seven months.

It seems Brits are not just looking for a definition, but checking if they are experiencing it themselves. As a result searches for “burnout test” have remained high, and currently stand at about 44 per month.

READ MORE: Millionaire who works 95 hours a week shares how he avoids burnout

The searches may be justified. Although burnout has been recognised as an “occupational phenomenon”, it is not classified as a medical condition.

This may be leading the public to find out more about what an “occupational phenomenon” actually is.

The WHO defines burnout as “a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.

READ MORE: 3 strategies to help you bounce back from burnout

It comes with feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from your job, or feelings of negativity related to your job; and reduced professional motivation.

“Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life,” WHO said.

Despite this, online searches signal it’s not only linked to employment.

READ MORE: How to beat burnout before it kicks in

While “therapist burnout” was widely searched this year, at about 48 times per month, “university burnout” was searched more, at about 52 times a month.

“Relationship burnout” – 38 times a month – and “compassionate burnout” – 28 times – were searched on a similar scale.

If you are feeling the strain from your job, you’re not alone.

READ MORE: 3 reasons you may be suffering from career burnout

A 2018 Perkbox survey found work is the most common stress for UK adults, with 59% experiencing workplace stress and one in five (21%) experiencing moderate to high levels of work related stress several times per week.

On a positive note, the increase in searches for “burnout” show Brits recognise they’re experiencing stress, and are looking for the causes and solutions.