Software engineers call centre executives and thousands of youngsters are increasingly falling prey to BOSS these days. BOSS or the Burn Out Stress Syndrome is a medical condition occurring in people who work for long hours and in unusual working shifts.

Burnout can actually occur to anyone who has had long term exhaustion or has been spending long hours at work. It can even be related to any form of depression that a person faces due to fatigue. The main reason for BOSS is unusually long working hours. It has been construed that physical and mental exhaustion led to inefficient working. BOSS generally affects people who work in a high stress environment. This disease whose cases had been seen in the West (in parts of America and Europe) can now also be witnessed in India. Some times BOSS is referred to as both the loss of energy and interest. After working long exhausting hours in the same domain, the working life seems to become monotonous as well as tiring.

The unusual work timings can be the cause of this medical condition. The biological cycle of an individual undergoes a major change affecting their body system. The night shifts lead to a loss of sleep, appetite and energy. They also experience weakness throughout the day.

BOSS is generally seen in the cases of customer service executives, call centre people, engineers, authors, soldiers, sportsmen and even in the case of young students who have to face peer pressure in today’s competitive world. Even in the case of doctors, practitioners and general health workers, BOSS is commonly observed. Thus working in any high stress, high pressure environment can lead to a burnout.

The human body is naturally tuned to work in a twenty four hour rhythmic clock cycle. But when this cycle gets affected due to work during the night shifts or at unearthly hours, it begins to take its toll on the human body. They have problems in adjusting to different sleep timings and patterns. Irregular sleeping hours, less interaction with friends and family, peer pressure at the work place are all the causes of BOSS.

The symptoms of people suffering from the medical condition of BOSS can be Backache, Insomnia, constant headache and nauseated feeling. Other than the physical symptoms lots of patients undergo major changes mentally and psychologically. They have a feeling of apathy, hopelessness and often feel isolated. They are unable to concentrate on the work at hand and their mind keeps drifting away. A feeling of irritation creeps in and one also tends to feel emotionally, physically as well as intellectually saturated. There is a loss in over all efficiency of the worker.

In some countries of Europe, burnout has been included in the occupational safety standards and the organization can also be held partially responsible if its employees fall prey to stress and BOSS.

The best way of avoiding BOSS are keeping oneself relaxed and giving enough time out for fun activities. Thus a weekend movie, a dinner outing, some work out in the gym, yoga, meditation or even a morning walk can help you cope with the stress.

For call centre executives and people who work in night shifts it is of paramount importance, that they take time off work to avoid too much stress a and become more discreet in choosing their working hours or else burn out may literally burn them out!

Shishir Shrivastava

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