Two-thirds of Nigerian Employees at Risk for Burnout

Just under two-thirds, or 64%, of Nigerian employees are at an increased risk from burnout according to a survey carried out by WellNewMe, which was conducted over a 4 month period from May 2019 to August 2019 and surveyed 1,323 Nigerian employees. 

So, what is burnout, and how does it happen? Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when an individual feels overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands.

People suffering from burnout often experience emotional, mental and physical exhaustion, and this can have serious physical and mental health related consequences, from which it can take a long time, and a lot of treatment, to recover.

Some of those consequences include:

  • Excessive stress
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Sadness, anger or irritability
  • Alcohol or substance misuse
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Vulnerability to illnesses i.e. colds, malaria, etc.

Burnout doesn’t just affect an individual – people with burnout can be irritable, unpredictable, isolated, frustrated, confrontational, irrational and very hard to be with. This can have catastrophic consequences for a family, in the workplace, or for friendships.

Studies on burnout among Nigerian employees are very limited, despite the devastating impact it could have on individuals, businesses and the society at large. This was what prompted us at WellNewMe to carry out a survey to find out how much risk were Nigerian employees exposed when it came to workplace burnout.

We carried a survey in 2019, among 1,323 employees across Nigeria between the ages of 20 to 60. The survey was a modified version of The Energy Audit for Organisations developed by The Energy Project which provides a detailed assessment of for determining how much risk an individual has before succumbing to burnout by examining four dimensions that affect our daily energy levels and lead to exhaustion - physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. The key findings in the survey are shown below.


The survey revealed that 64% of employees have an increased risk of burnout, with women having a slightly higher risk than men. Nearly 2 in 10 employees will require immediate assistance as they were already demonstrating behaviours that indicated that they were at crisis point.   

We also saw people in their fifties were less likely to be at risk than their younger colleagues in the workplace, with little difference between the risk levels for those below the age of 50.



Physical exhaustion is an extreme state of unrelenting fatigue that leaves you physically drained. Some of the symptoms include chronic tiredness or sleepiness, headaches, dizziness, sore or aching muscles, muscle weakness and slowed reflexes & responses. 

Overall, about 6 in 10 employees were at an increased risk from suffering from physical exhaustion with women more likely to be at risk than their male counterparts.