Burn-out / Bore-out: Prevention

Burn-out / Bore-out: Prevention


  • Identify situations and manifestations of Burn Out.
  • Know the risk factors of Burn Out.
  • Know the difference between depression and chronic fatigue.
  • Raise awareness about Burn Out.
  • Implement collective prevention measures.


1. Definition and manifestations of Burn Out

Burn Out ("to burn out, to burn up one's reserves") or burnout syndrome is a set of reactions resulting from situations of chronic professional stress in which the commitment dimension is predominant.

It is characterised by 3 criteria (Maslach's) that are essential to describe it with certainty.

Professional exhaustion :

  • Deep and chronic fatigue
  • Total lack of energy for work
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions. Intrusive thoughts
  • Feeling drained of emotional resources. Disillusionment. Slump of the ideal
  • Lack of motivation

Disengagement (depersonalisation) :

  • Dehumanisation of the relationship with the other. Insensitivity to the surrounding world
  • Negative vision of others and of work (cynicism)

Personal frustration :

  • Feeling of not achieving one's goals
  • Feeling of incompetence, of being unable to meet the expectations of those around you
  • Self-esteem and self-confidence

2. Risk factors and sectors of activity

  • It is linked to the professional context and is the consequence of chronic professional stress. Burnout is limited to the professional sphere.
  • Differences with :
  • o Depression: exhaustion generalised to the entire existence. The origin is linked to various contexts (family...)

    o Chronic fatigue: much greater tiredness

  • It concerns all sectors of life. It is a neurological disease according to the World Health Organization.
  • The most affected sectors of activity are those for which :
  • o The dimension of commitment predominates (care professions, aid, teaching, armies...)

    o The relationship with the other, at the center of the activity, is vital for the beneficiaries of this relationship (users, patients, clients...)

    o Personal and emotional investment is predominant.

  • Risk factors: those of chronic stress, and more specifically
  • o Work overload, time pressure

    o Low control over work

    o Low rewards

    o Lack of fairness

    o Value conflicts, conflicting demands

    o Lack of clarity in objectives, means

3. Burn Out / Bore Out:

Bore Out is a professional exhaustion caused by boredom, and leading to the absence of professional satisfaction.

  • Risk factors: lack of work, being put on the back burner for economic and human reasons.
  • Sector of activity: especially in the tertiary sector.


1. Do you know how to identify situations and manifestations of Burn Out?

Your employee :

  • Does he/she complain of lack of energy to accomplish his/her work?
  • Does he or she have problems concentrating, making decisions, or being mentally available at work?
  • Is he/she irritable, pessimistic, with a "bureaucratic" attitude?
  • Does he/she show an attitude of withdrawal, isolation, irritability, aggressiveness, reduced empathy?
  • Does he/she have a negative attitude towards work and others?
  • Does he or she devalue the work he or she does, his or her own efficiency and skills?

2. How do you plan for prevention?

  • What are the collective prevention approaches?
  • Is there an excessive workload with high time pressure?
  • Does the organisation of the work place you at odds with the rules and values of the profession?
  • How is teamwork organised?
  • Is there social support?