Are you close to burnout? This new online test lets you find out

Are you close to burnout?  This new online test lets you find out

Faced with the constant increase in the feeling of burnout among employees, an international team of researchers has developed a tool to identify the people most exposed to the risk of professional burnout. This is available online for free.

Sometimes referred to as the evil of the century, burn-out, or professional exhaustion, is not just an impression but a reality. In 2022, a study carried out by OpinionWay showed that 34% of employees would feel psychological suffering at work (compared to 2% in 2012). But although it is increasingly heard, and a factor of depression, professional burnout syndrome is not officially recognized as an illness. And can sometimes be difficult to detect.

A new scientific tool developed

An international team of researchers has developed a tool to better identify the people most at risk, those who can sink quickly. Officially called the Burnout Assessment Tool (BAT), it works through a series of questions designed to assess a person’s mental and physical state at work through self-reported responses.

The BAT identifies signs and assesses risks based on data collected from 493 adults, calculating a score for certain symptoms compared to the national average of seven countries studied (Austria, Belgium, Finland, Central Europe , Ireland, Japan and the Netherlands at the moment!). But remains accessible to all, and free on the internet.

A score obtained from self-reported responses

There are actually two versions of this self-assessment questionnaire: one version for people who have already experienced burnout and another for those who want to know where they stand. The tool examines areas such as work-home conflict, workload, job satisfaction and emotional stress. With questions including feeling on autopilot at work, feeling sad without knowing why, and not being sure of the value of work.

After going through the questionnaire, you get scores for each category that give you a profile and your assessed risk of burnout. Be careful though, the tool does not deliver a diagnosis, but allows you to reassure yourself or face a fundamental problem.

Previously, we did not have a sufficiently detailed measurement tool, usable both in practice and in research, to identify workers at risk of burnout.”. It is now done.

The BAT, a tool also useful to employers

As the researchers point out, the usefulness of this new test does not only concern employees but could be relevant in the interest of employers. “Failing to address the risk of employee burnout in time can have long-term consequences,” explains De Beer. And to remedy sometimes unrealistic expectations asked of employees, for the good of all.

“We can combat burnout through individual treatment, but it is of no use if people return to a workplace where demands are too high and there are few resources”, explains psychologist Marit Christensen of NTNU. “It is then very likely that the employee will become ill again.”

Burn out: work with a professional remains essential

So, is this BAT, designed by scientists, a new internet gadget for knowing yourself better or a real tool for improving your mental health? We asked Johanna Rozenblum, clinical psychologist and member of the TipsForWomens expert committee. According to her, obtaining new diagnostic tools and self-tests are always useful if you want to start assessing your level of stress, exhaustion, etc. But a free online tool, as comprehensive as it may be, does not compete with psychometric tests, validated by science, that can be done with a professional.

“In the context of burnout, it is not a question of sticking only to the numerical results of the questionnaires. It is also necessary to assess the behavior of the person, the exchange produced, of what we see qualitatively of the person in front of us… A cold test on the internet can give an indication or confirm the impression of someone who has a small opinion of their emotional state. But to determine their unhappiness , and take care of the problem, turning to a professional seems essential.”