Job fatigue is a very common occurrence. Work fatigue is defined as an “unrelenting exhaustion that isn’t relieved by rest, a nearly constant state of weariness that develops over time, reducing your energy, motivation, and concentration.” Much like burnout, work fatigue is a constant state of tiredness that won’t go away…(mayoclinic)

Recently, I was fortunate enough to land a job at a workplace that I considered to be excellent upon recommendation. After the first few days things were rolling along beautifully, and then the workload and pace became exhausting. I was daily working over my contracted hours and asked perform many tasks, all at once. I was coming home at the end of the day so tired that I’d cook my dinner and be zonked out on the sofa from 6 pm every evening. I’d be ready for bed at 9 pm,  would sleep like a baby, and feel un-refreshed the following morning; dreading the day ahead. It was truly awful and thankfully things have changed for me.

Have you ever experienced work fatigue like this? Where the stress of the workplace makes you feel constantly unhappy and you worry for your physical and mental health?

I consider myself to be a hard worker, and go above and beyond to do a good job, but my experience just didn’t feel right. There was too much work piled onto me, so that I couldn’t possibly complete everything in one day, and I felt exhausted in the process.

There are 10 red flags I’ve compiled that I feel may point towards the fact that you are experiencing job fatigue.

  1. Rushing around like a headless chicken and not even having time to take a drink of water. And even if you do have time to take a sip of water, you tend to drop half of it down your blouse as you struggle to spin the top back onto the bottle in haste, (headless chicken is a phrase you’ll use on a daily basis)

2. Standing in the middle of the room, office or warehouse holding your arms in the air and shouting “Impossible!”

3. Staying later than your contracted hours each evening because your workload is too much to complete during               the working day.

4. Never feeling like you are doing enough, even though you are ‘on the go’ all day.

5. Having to use time in your lunch breaks to complete tasks.

6. Criticism on a petty scale. (The paper that you stuck in has ripples in it! Your pen marks are the wrong size!                    You have to be ready for the next task at 9.50 on the dot, then at 11. 15, blah blah blah)

7.  Crashing out on the sofa when you return home and have no energy to get up.

8.  No time for your favourite hobbies. Even at the weekend, you are just too tired to do anything.

9.  High staff turnover.

10. Nearly every employee walks around like the living dead, with bags under their eyes and monotone                                   conversation skills  (This isn’t a slight, only the fact that your colleagues have no strength to open their                             mouths. It’s all about self-preservation and conserving what little energy you have left)

11. Having a constant tension headache during the day, and then making silly mistakes because you have way too               much to do in the time frame that you’ve been given.

OK, there’s eleven, but the reasons for job fatigue keep popping into my head. There will be more I’m sure, as I keep meditating on my experience.

If you recognise a few of these at your work place, I think it would probably be a good idea, if your circumstances allow, to look for something else, before you experience burn-out through the stress and exhaustion. I have no problem with working hard, but I’m not a performing monkey and refuse to let people treat me like one.

I’ll follow soon with a post talking about ways to cope with your employment if you have no choices but to continue.

x Pip



12 thoughts on “Job Fatigue

  1. Oh Pip! You’ve captured the 9-5’er perfectly. This brought back such memories of chaos and unhappiness. I was lucky. I didn’t return to work after having my son. Great post.

    1. It does border on being comical. I think you have to think of it that way sometimes as a means of self-preservation and thinking up effective responses with expletives, obviously trying not to voice them. And in this process, get out as fast as your legs can carry you.

  2. This is clearly what I needed to see. This is exactly how I feel and I truly feel beyond burned out, bored, lost and just simply exhausted from the same ole day to day that has become my 9-5. I need to take steps to fix that. Thanks so much for this post!

  3. This is defintely a common occurance because I am defintely feeling some job fatigue right now. I am a dental hygienst and it has been so draining during this pandemic unfortunately

  4. Oh I’ve lived through this! It’s really intense! I think remembering to take your annual leave in regular intervals throughout the year really does help!

    Katie |

    1. I was speaking to a colleague the other day about this. She spent years training to be a barrister, got the Masters etc. When it came to the important bit of actually working in the job, she hated it. The atmosphere at work, the stress and workload made her feel ill. She’s now doing something completely different, and is happy.

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