Employee Wellbeing

How to tell your boss you’re burnt out

At Myles Wellbeing, we have looked into the rise of burnout, what you can do to combat it, and how to spot the signs of burnout. In this article, arguably the most important, we discuss how to tell your boss you’re finding things tough and are feeling burnt out.
Alanah Hammond
4 minutes

Burnout has been a huge topic of discussion for several years now, but it is now, clearly, a global concern. New data is showing just how many workers are being affected by burnout, particularly in the younger generations. For example, 46% of Gen Z and 45% of Millennials say they have experienced burnout at their current job. 

Due to the pandemic, workers are finding new ways to work which means many are working from home. Problems arise with this new flexible way of working as employees struggle to divorce their home life from their work life. This results in workers not taking proper breaks and working outside of office hours.

Further data from Deloitte, in which they surveyed over 1000 respondents, found 77% of workers have experienced burnout at their current job. 91% say that unmanageable stress or frustration impacts the quality of their work, and 83% say burnout can negatively impact personal relationships.

Burnout can have detrimental effects on workers because even those who love their jobs, and are passionate about the work they do, feel stressed at work. 64% of the survey say they are frequently stressed at work.

At Myles Wellbeing, we have looked into the rise of burnout, what you can do to combat it, and how to spot the signs of burnout. In this article, arguably the most important, we discuss how to tell your boss if you’re finding things tough and are feeling burnt out.  

How to tell your boss that you’re burnt out 

It can be daunting to tell your boss that you are burnt out. Michael McCreadie, Co-Founder at Myles Wellbeing, gives his top tips: 

1. Be honest with your manager

If you’re finding your workload challenging, speak up. It’s easy to fall into an unhealthy mindset of believing you must say yes to everything and always be on alert for a new task, however, this is a recipe for a disastrous burn out.

It’s better to be honest about your workload sooner rather than later, as your manager might not know if you’re working late, piling on more work as they think you can manage. So remember, no is an answer.

2. Try and identify the root cause yourself first 

Is it the volume of work, the difficulty of the tasks themselves, too many meetings or a lack of work-life balance?

Write down how you are feeling to help separate the issues rather than seeing it as one problem. This will make your conversation with your manager more productive as the problem area is more clear. It is very likely that your manager has tips and resources to help you. 

3. Speak to your boss as early as possible, ideally before you’re burnt out 

Easier said than done, but if you start to spot the signs of burn out such as feeling tired all of the time, self-doubt and feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to talk.

Acting fast means that you and your manager can start working through the issues before they get overwhelming. Together you can come up with a solution to any of your anxieties.

4. Reach out to a colleague

If the prospect of going straight to your boss is too daunting that you may avoid addressing any issues or feelings of burn out altogether, start with a colleague or friend. 

A colleague will be in a more similar position to you, offering valuable advice, but they are also a friend who you could rehearse any conversations with. If you feel confident enough to speak to your boss, whether that’s from practising what you will say, you can nip any anxieties in the bud by being more direct in any conversations with you work superiors.

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