By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TVBy Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – How can you tell if you just a need a day off of work, or should be considering a new career?

With fewer people doing more work, reports of job burnout are on the rise.

Read: Preventing Burnout

“Burnout is something that doesn’t change over many days,” explained human resource consultant Elaine Varelas of Keystone Partners. “New projects don’t energize you. New colleagues don’t energize you. You have just had it, and spend most of your time daydreaming about what else, and where else you want to be.”

Work is tough these days. A survey of IT workers found three quarters of them saying they were stressed out, to the point that more than 40% reported losing sleep over work.

Consider four questions to determine whether you’ve come to the end of the line in your current job.

Do you lack the energy to go to work most days? “It’s that long continuation, when that’s how you feel every day about going to work,” said Varelas.

Another warning sign is trouble concentrating when you are on the job.

Next is a feeling of ambiguity about your role in the organization. “If you are unclear about what your responsibilities are, then you are never really solid in your role,” added Varelas.

Finally, do you feel detached and isolated from co-workers? “Not having relationships is a significant issue, and another sign of burnout, and potentially depression,” said Varelas.

Burnout costs companies big money in lost productivity, and recruiting replacement workers.

Some companies work very hard to help workers stay fresh on the job. Melanie Russell has been at Invensys in Foxboro for 40 years.

The strategic marketing executive can’t hide that fact even if she wanted to. It’s posted on a wall as a point of pride, along with the names other long time workers.

Invensys promotes internal stress releases like quick bowling matches on the Wii, and community outreach projects on company time.

Melanie volunteered weekly at a local charter school, helping a 6th grader on her science fair project. She says it helped her, the community, and her company. “You’d come back and you’d just be a little more recharged.”

Varelas believes more companies are realizing small investments can have big returns. “Dealing with stress and the stress that impacts burnout is something that is good for the bottom line.”


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