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Burnout, boreout, brownout: What’s the difference?
Published on: Sunday, May 22, 2022
By: Malay Mail, ETX Studio
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Boreout is also a form of professional exhaustion that stems from boredom. — Picture courtesy of Nubelson Fernandes / Unspash via ETX Studio
NEW YORK: From burnout to boreout to brownout, work-related exhaustion can take different forms. While burnout may be the best-known, there are other conditions linked to chronic boredom or loss of meaning at work. And they should not be neglected.


Burnout is the most well-known form of professional exhaustion. It is caused by an overload of work and an over-investment on the part of the individual. The signs can be: Emotional fatigue, cynicism towards work or decreased commitment.

Symptoms such as anxiety, sleep disorders or muscle tension appear. They can be physical, emotional or cognitive.


Boreout is also a form of exhaustion that emanates from boredom. Unlike burnout, it is caused by an insufficient workload and chronic boredom. You’re not in a state of boreout every time you’re bored. But this condition can be the result of repeated boredom.

Signs may include: Decreased self-esteem, absenteeism, increased stress or disengagement from work.


Brownout is a form of professional exhaustion caused by the loss of meaning at work. This form is more difficult to diagnose, since the person suffering from brownout remains operational while their malaise is mental.

The signs can be the following: A loss of focus or a feeling of futility in the tasks to be carried out, withdrawal, progressive demotivation, high anxiety.

If you think you are suffering from a form of work-related exhaustion, contact your doctor. A medical professional will be better able to make a diagnosis. 

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